High Country Bee, Edition 3, Volume 7, July 2014

July 2, 2014 Beth Conrey blog

Swarm season is officially over although there will still be a few stragglers.  In celebration, I am leaving town today through the 9th of July.  Have a wonderful Independence Day celebration.  Marvel at all of the US successes and work towards correcting its shortcomings.  The United States is US in more ways than one!

Pollinator News:

It has been a busy past couple of weeks on the pollinator front!  The news from the White House is terrific and represents a fundamental shift in pollinator politics.  A link to the fact sheet can be found at the bottom of this letter.  It has also generated some controversy.  A link to NPR’s “White House Task force to save bees stirs hornet’s nest” is also below.

I am always an optimist when it comes to this sort of news although many will argue that it is just words.  It is still more and better words than before.  What I REALLY LIKE about the White House press release is the following:

  • Directing Task Force agencies to develop plans to enhance pollinator habitat on federal lands and facilities in order to lead by example to significantly expand the acreage and quality of pollinator habitat, consistent with agency missions and public safety; and
  • Directing Task Force agencies to partner with state, tribal, and local governments; farmers and ranchers; corporations and small businesses; and non-governmental organizations to protect pollinators and increase the quality and amount of available habitat and forage.

This is relatively uncontaminated land–compared to converting crop land–and is an incredible opportunity for bees and beekeepers in this state.  Could you use more forage?  Talk to me when I get back to town and let’s figure out how to help you capitalize on this announcement.

In other good news, I met with the CO Department of Transportation to discuss additional forage on the State’s 9000 miles of highways and 300,000 acres of right-of-way.  We had an excellent meeting with a lot of positive discussion on how to incorporate more pollinator forage into existing highway programs.

This is a direct result of my “Making the City Pretty” presentation sparking John Barton with High Land Beekeeping Club’s interest enough to “gitter’ done”.  Thank you John for your assistance in setting up the meeting.

Summer Bee College:

The Summer Bee College was well attended and I thank all of you for coming.  Jim Tew did a FABULOUS job of entertaining and informing the crowd.  He was joined by a cast of passionate speakers on a variety of subjects and I thank ALL OF THEM for sharing their knowledge, too.  As always, Paul and Nanci Limbach and crew did a terrific job of hosting and this is no easy task!  Taking care of all of the details associated with hosting 125 people at your property is quite an exercise and they consistently pull it off.

For those of you who attended the Beekeepers Ball, you know how well that went down!  A great time was had by all from our new favorite place in New Castle!  Check out the staff pictures, as well as some pictures from Al Summers of the Summer Bee College, here.

Pollinator Week:

More thanks to those of you who were kind enough to staff booths during Pollinator Week.  We appreciate your time and energy on such a worthwhile project.  The CSBA would like to have the regional associations take over Pollinator Week promotion in their service areas in future years and will be providing information and assistance to help you successfully undertake the promotion.

There was another bumblebee kill in Oregon  which, needless to say, put a damper on events there!  Pesticide season is upon us.  Use the opportunity to educate your neighbors on proper pesticide application.  Participate in the Bee Safe neighborhood program.  Not much downside to the program as near as I can determine.  Better forage, less hostile environment.  Cool!

For those of you outside of urban areas, consider listing your bee yards on DriftWatch.  And, sadly, if you are the victim of a possible pesticide misapplication, please open a claim with the CO Department of Agriculture.  Follow this link.

 Of Interest:

Virginia will PAY YOU to take up beekeeping–Anyone wants to try to get this program started, feel free!

2014 Gardeners Beware Report

How farmers can help bring back pollinators

White House Fact Sheet:  The Economic Challenge Posed by Declining Pollinator Populations

NPR’s White House Task Force to Save Bees Stirs Hornet’s Nest

Thank you for being a member.

Beth Conrey






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