High Country Bee, Edition 3, Volume 2

February 1, 2014 Beth Conrey blog

January is my least favorite month of the year but, at least this year, it sped by.  It started with a trip to the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) conference in Baton Rouge the 7th through the 12th.  As always, I learn a lot and meet quite a few new folks.  I am always on the lookout for new speakers and came up with a few winners that the CSBA will host in the upcoming months.  More information is to be found below.

I am at the point in my beekeeping career where I am absolutely aware of what the problem is with honey bee health.  I have heard enough presentations, seen enough data, talked to enough experts that “I’ve got it!”  I no longer need/want to discuss “the problem”.  I am, in fact, quite sick of the negativity of our industry.

I want to discuss the solutions and I have shifted my focus to this phase.  One of the reasons I was in Baton Rouge was to deliver a presentation on one of my solutions–“Making the City Pretty–a comprehensive guide to urban forage based upon land use”.  It was well received and I am happy to spread the message to any groups that you think might be interested in hearing it–as well as yourselves.  It is a rather long talk–75-80 minutes–but contains a tremendous amount of data! Any interested parties can contact me at 970-213-3099 or president@coloradobeekeepers.org and I will be happy to try to work you in to my schedule.

This is but one of a large body of solutions that are available to begin solving the issues with both pollinator health in general and bee health specifically.  Here are a couple of links to some other local projects on pollinator health.

Bee Safe Neighborhood Campaign

Pollination Planet  I am going to have these folks speak at the CSBA Summer Meeting if available.

I encourage each and every one of you to undertake some small task to improve the health of pollinators within this state.  If all of us help, the results could be downright dramatic!  Do something POSITIVE, anything, not nothing!

Diana Sammataro:

I am pleased to announce that Diana Sammataro will be returning to the Front Range for a series of talks this month.  Diana retired yesterday from the USDA-ARS after a lengthy career with the Carl Hayden Research Center in Tucson.  A curriculum vitae can be found here.  Diana’s research focus has been on both mites and fungicides.  She is a co-author of “The Beekeepers’ Handbook” which is used by many a beginning beekeeping class as their text.

She will be speaking at the Plaza Event Center in Longmont on Wednesday, February 19th, from 7-9 pm.  She will be speaking to the Northern Colorado Beekeepers Association (NCBA) on Thursday, February 20th from 7-9 pm at the Berthoud Community Center.  On Monday, February 24th, she will be in Denver at Denver Urban Homesteading from 7-9 pm.  Click here for a guerrilla parking guide to the area.

There will be NO CHARGE to CSBA members for Diana’s visit to Colorado.  Thank you to all of the supporting beekeeping associations in the area for your support.

Other Speakers of Note:

WOW!  There are some truly wonderful educational opportunities coming up!

First, is Michael Bush.  He is coming to Durango courtesy of the 4 Corners Beekeeping Club on March 15th.  All details can be found on the CSBA Event Calendar.  Well done 4 Corners!

Next will be the CSBA Summer Meeting featuring Dr. Jim Tew.  The Summer Meeting will be held June 14th at Western CO Honey in Silt.  Paul has got a new and bigger space for us to have our meeting this year! (We have been having a heck of a time keeping our venues ahead of our attendance.) Plan on both sitting AND hearing the speakers this year!  Plans are coming together quickly and most of the details will be finalized this month.  Stay tuned!

Rumor has it Jerry Hayes of Monsanto will be here in the summer, too.  Waiting on details.

CSBA advisor, Don Studinski of Honeybee Keep, has finished the legwork of a seminar with Ross Conrad in January of 2015 already!  Ross will be teaching an ADVANCED beekeeping class at the Crescent Grange in Broomfield on January 24, 2015 from 8:30 am to 5 pm.  Class is limited to 30 adults.  Advance registration and payment of $150 is due by March 31, 2014.  Price includes morning beverages, lunch and afternoon fruit pick-me-up.  

Advanced Beekeeping Seminar content

1. Organic Control Of Varroa Mites:

  • mite biology and identification,
  • genetic resistance,
  • nucleus colonies and brood cycle interruption,
  • screened bottom boards,
  • trapping mites,
  • comb rotation,
  • essential oils,
  • organic acids,
  • herbal treatments,
  • sugar dusting,
  • small cell foundation/naturally built comb
2. Colony Collapse Disorder and Organic Solutions:

  • the current state of bees and beekeeping and every day solutions for Beekeepers and the public,
  • pesticides,
  • proper nutrition,
  • beneficial bacteria and antibiotics,
  • organic-vs-non-organic methods of controlling diseases and pests,
  • climate change and pollution,
  • better stewardship of Earth

3. Controlling Pests (Other Than Varroa) Naturally:

  • bears,
  • skunks,
  • mice,
  • ants,
  • wax moths,
  • small hive beetles,
  • American foul brood,
  • European foul brood,
  • nosema,
  • chalk brood,
  • chill brood

4. Beekeeping for Human Health:

  • developing our spiritual connection
  • the amazing and expanding world of apitherapy

Click here for a registration form.  Call Don if you have any further questions.  303-248-6477.

If you like these opportunities, SUPPORT THEM!  Attendance is the key to all of their success!

Packages and Nucs:

The CSBA For Sale page has all of the member listings for packages and nucs.  Please refer to the page for contact information and links to all the vendors.  Package and nuc pressure is running high this year so do not delay!

 Of Interest:

I have been trying to find a list of insecticides and herbicides that consumers CAN use if they are trying to take a small step forward on reducing their pesticide addiction.  They can both be found on the CSBA website under Help the Honeybee/Decrease Your Chemical Usage at the bottom of the page under consumer information.  Unfortunately, they are not printable.  Wanna help?  Call or email.  This is a 3 hour one-shot-wonder job.

Honeybee shortage threatens crop pollination in Europe

Is “natural capital” the next generation of corporate social responsibility?  A VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE!

How bee health is creeping up the corporate agenda at Bayer  The first line of the lone comment is priceless!

I spoke with Clark Sloan earlier this week and wanted to clarify that Clark is no longer going to be in the honey packing business.  He is returning to his passion–bees–and will change his business model to allow him to focus on working with bees, providing pollination services, and packaging his own honey under his own label.  Clark will, once again, be providing packages this spring.  Go to the CSBA For Sale page for more information.

As always, thank you for being a member!

Beth Conrey






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