Vol. 15 No. 3 September 2004
Editor: Jennifer Berry, Agricultural Research Coordinator
Georgia Beekeepers Association Fall 2004 Meeting
The University of Georgia Honey Bee Lab will be hosting the 2004 Georgia Beekeeping Association’s fall meeting September 24 & 25. We have an outstanding list of speakers for this year’s meeting, so you don’t want to miss out.
Pre- registration for members is $20.00 if payments are made on
or before September 15. Registration includes lunch for both Friday
and Saturday along with refreshments during breaks. Registration
forms are available on the GBA website www.gabeekeeping.com. If
you wait to pay at the door it will be $25.00 for members and $30.00
for non-members. If you have questions about registration, please
contact GBA treasurer, Evelyn Williams at (404)-366-6404 or by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another rewarding opportunity at this year’s GBA meeting is the annual Georgia state Honey Show. Honey show classes include extracted light, amber and dark honey, chunk honey, cut or section comb honey, black jar, molded or dipped candles, beeswax block and mead. Participants may enter in one or all of the classes with only one entry per class. All honey and beeswax must have been produced by the submitter within the last 12 months except for mead. All honey entries are to be submitted in 3 matching jars except for the black jar which will be provided. Submit extracted honey in standard one pound plastic or glass containers. Chunk honey may be in one pound chunk honey jars or pints. All beeswax entries must be 100% pure beeswax. Do not label the entries in any way. Stickers will be provided and numbers assigned by the registration Steward. All entries must be submitted by noon, Friday, September 24 to qualify. Even if you have never entered your bee products in a honey show before, there is no time like the present. An award ceremony, which will include best in show, will follow the low country crab boil Friday evening.
vendors plan to attend the meeting as well. Rossman apiaries and
Dadant & Sons plan to bring beekeeping supplies and equipment.
You can purchase equipment on the spot or order it from them directly
to be shipped to you later.
Appling County Bees Stolen
Jerry Shumans, commercial beekeeper in Baxley, reported a yard of bees stolen sometime the night of August 26-27. A total of 38 hives were removed from the site, with hive stands thrown aside to make room for a truck which rutted the site with tracks. The Appling County Sheriff's department has collected evidence from the scene. Jerry reports that the 38 hives were all 10-frame equipment, mostly new, and all branded "Shumans." He suspects that the thieves may try to rent or sell the hives to area farmers for cucumber pollination. Any information about these stolen hives can be directed to the Appling County Sheriff's department at (912) 367-8120, Appling County Extension director James Clark at (912) 367-8130, or Mr. Shumans at (912) 367-2243.
University of Georgia Queen Breeding Program
Two years ago the UGA honey bee lab undertook an ambitious, long-term breeding project to combat some of the issues facing beekeepers today. Our goal is to reduce pesticide use in the beekeeping industry while simultaneously selecting for traits of economic interest. The program design consists of a closed population breeding scheme to select simultaneously for (1) reduced colony Varroa populations, (2) hygienic behavior, (3) increased brood production, (4) brood solidness, (5) high honey production, and (6) gentleness. With mite resistance on the rise for coumaphos (CheckMite™) and fluvalinate (Apistan™) it is imperative that a mite resistant stock be developed while still retaining other important qualities like honey production.
In 2002 we set up 50 5-frame nucleus colonies with 2 frames of brood and bees and a queen. The queens came from a variety of different sources (purchased and donated), maximizing genetic variation in our initial stock. In 2003 we re-queened the 50 breeder colonies with inseminated daughters from the original mother queens. Next, every colony was tested for each of the parameters in our selection program. After the data were analyzed, four superior queens were selected and over-wintered. Spring 2004, we re-queened each of the breeder colonies with daughters grafted from the four superior queens. These daughters were open mated and once satisfactory egg laying began, testing resumed. In the table below are the results comparing the 2003 and 2004 generations. Between 2003 and 2004 there were significant improvements in net colony weight gain, brood production and hygienic behavior, but no improvements for brood solidness (an indicator of inbreeding), Varroa mite numbers, or gentleness.
Next year we will repeat the same procedure of re-queening, testing and selection. Hopefully, in the near future, we will have genetically-improved queens available to Georgia beekeepers. We will keep you informed.
Management Calendar: September - November in Georgia
summer season is coming to an end; however, there are still numerous
tasks that need to be accomplished before winter arrives. This
is a critical time of year for our colonies, especially if the
nectar flow in your area was marginal. Populations are large which
translates into plenty of hungry bodies to feed. Spring or early
summer honey stores may be quickly exhausted, therefore colony
inspections are crucial. I receive numerous calls this time of
year from beekeepers that their colonies have died. Upon inspection,
I find they starved. This usually occurs when beekeepers take their
colonies a good distance from home to take advantage of particular
nectar flows. They leave their colonies assuming a flow is imminent
only to return several weeks later to find no flow transpired;
therefore their colonies perished. Starvation is particularly disturbing
since it can be avoided. If colonies are on the verge of starvation,
feed immediately with a 2:1 sugar syrup solution. However, if they
have enough stores but will need supplemental feeding before winter
arrives, wait to feed until the end of September with a 2:1 sugar
syrup solution. You don’t want to stimulate the queen to
begin excessive egg-laying with the winter just around the corner.
Remember, single hive bodied colonies will need 35 - 40 pounds
of honey to last the winter dearth.
You may to consider preventive treatments against AFB and EFB, as
well as vegetable oil treatments if you are concerned about tracheal
mites. You can learn more about these disorders at http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/Disorders/Honey_Bee_Disorders.htm.
Finally, resolve any queen problems you may have in your colonies.
Weak or old queens result in small colonies which rarely survive
winter. If colonies are weak, combine them with other weak colonies
or add to an existing strong one.
Electronic Delivery of Georgia Bee Letter
If you would like to receive Georgia Bee Letter via email, send me your address at email@example.com for the next month. I will be changing addresses soon because I have had too many problems with the “bugs” server. I apologize to those of you who sent me a request in the past few months. Those requests were lost due to a virus in the server. Please send me your address again. Also, notify me if there are changes to your club meeting times or contact persons.If you have sent me your address and not received GBL, please send it again. We sometimes experience computer viruses on campus. Also, notify me if there are changes to your club meeting times or contact persons.
How to Get Georgia Bee Letter
Ask your county Extension agent to put you on the mail list. GBL can be received electronically by emailing your request to firstname.lastname@example.org . If you receive multiple copies, please tell your county Extension agent.
Resource People for Georgia Beekeeping