Vol. 15 No. 4 December 2004
Editor: Jennifer Berry, Agricultural Research Coordinator
Beekeepers Association Fall 2004 Meeting
The Georgia Beekeepers Association fall meeting,
which was hosted by the UGA bee lab September 24-25, was a huge
success. Close to 100 people were in attendance. Speakers included
Jeff Pettis, Sue Cobey, David Tarpy, John Rudeaseal, Dann Purvis,
Jamie Ellis and Dr. Delaplane. Vendors included Rossman Apiaries
and Dadant. Friday evening, JM and Frieda Sikes dazzled the crowd
with a delicious low country boil tossed with the finest shrimp
one could find. During dinner we were entertained by the delightful
bluegrass tunes provided by the Hog Mountain Boys. An evening to
During the business meeting, new officers were elected; Bill Owens replaced Robert Brewer as president, Cheryl Idol replaced Virginia Webb as our newsletter editor and Harold Watkins replaced Sonny Swords as a board member. The high attendance award, three years in the running, went to the
Finally, during a break in the meeting, all willing volunteers were photographed on the front porch of the Horticulture farm house. This photo will be one of many for a 2006 calendar depicting beekeeping in the state of Georgia. The calendar will be given to all participants of the Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS) meeting next year in Ohio. There will also be copies available at our next GBA fall meeting. Don’t forget, the EAS meeting will be coming to Athens, Georgia in 2006. Will be looking for volunteers in the near future.
Dr. Selim Dedej
Graduates from UGA and
Selim Dedej completed
his doctorate in Entomology this past summer and will be saying
Last year, Jamie Ellis received his doctorate from Rhodes University in South Africa and has since returned home to Georgia and the UGA bee lab. In March, Jamie accepted a post-doc position at the UGA bee lab with his primary research focusing on the ecology and control of small hive beetles. We are happy to have Jamie back, bringing with him his wife Amanda, who will begin her doctorate program this spring under the direction of Dr. Delaplane.
New Information from APHIS Concerning
Imports and Exports
Ban on bee exports:
As of last month there is now a ban on bee exports to the European Union (EU).
At present, the
Bee imports into
This has been an exciting year for us at the bee lab. With the arrival of Dr. Jamie Ellis there has been a flurry of new research projects on small hive beetles (SHB). Recently, we completed a study exploring hygienic expression of European honey bees towards capped brood that has been oviposited in by SHB. In a second study, Jamie tested the effects of ApiLife, bottom screens, and hive placement on SHB entry into colonies. Finally, he is completing a toxicity study where he is testing the sub-lethal effects of coumaphos, Apistan, and ApiLife on all SHB life stages.
have been several on-going projects continued this year. Our
queen breeding project
entered its second year of selection with promising results. December
completes the first year of a study designed to determine the economic
threshold for SHB alone and in the presence of Varroa mites. Upcoming
projects include a biological control project where we will test
the effects of available biological control agents against SHB
pupae in the soil. This project was funded by The Georgia Beekeepers
Association. There are several other projects in the works for
early next spring examining sub-lethal effects of synthetic miticides
on honey bee behavior and overall colony productivity. We’ve also
received a grant from the EPA to test the effects of IPM (bottom
screens and Russian queens) on delaying the onset of Varroa economic
thresholds and increasing beekeeper profitability. Carl Webb, Bob
Binnie, Lloyd Allison, Jim Driggers, Bill Owens, and Jesse McCurdy
are cooperators on this grant. We are fortunate to have such a
generous group of beekeepers in the state. Numerous times in the
past Carl Webb and Bob Binnie have been cooperators in research
projects not only donating their time but also their colonies and
bees. We would have been hard pressed getting these projects off
the ground if it wasn’t for their help. Contrary to popular belief,
the UGA bee lab receives no research money from the university.
We are responsible for funding our research projects, maintenance
costs and repairs on our lab facility and vehicles, paying our
part- and full-time employees, purchasing office equipment and
supplies and maintaining our colonies and equipment. Every dime
we receive for research comes from either competitive grants (like
USDA or EPA), the Buzz fund or other beekeeping organizational
grants like the Honey Board or EAS. Therefore, without the cooperation
of beekeepers like the ones listed above, we would be unable to
afford attempts in research projects requiring large numbers of
colonies. We thank them and the state of
December – February in
We’re just a few weeks away from winter “officially” being here, however, the cold weather has already made its presence known. All floral resources are absent, and temperatures have dipped below the freezing mark in most areas of the state. Honey bee colonies have formed their winter cluster and are now set to endure a period where they must survive on the honey and pollen supplies stored in the hive. There are three basic causes of winterkill: starvation, disease, and queenlessness. If proper fall management strategies were followed (strong viable queen, adequate supply of honey and pollen, colonies maintained in a disease and pest-free condition and well constructed hives protecting bees from extreme climatic conditions) then colonies should have no problem surviving the winter period.
most careful winter preparations, it may be necessary to make a
midwinter inspection of colonies to determine if they are alive
or in need of food. With fall flows reported across the state to
be below average and with fall temperatures above average, our
bees have been more active, thereby consuming more stored honey
supplies. If colonies are too weak, combine them with stronger
ones. Small clusters rarely survive the winter, even in
Fortunately in the south we frequently have warm days with temperatures reaching into the 50s-70s depending on the region. This allows the beekeeper to open and inspect any colony in question. Lifting colonies from the rear is a quick method for determining quantities of honey stores. If the colony is light, mix a heavy 2:1 (sugar:water) syrup solution and feed them with internal division board feeders, inverted plastic pails, buckets or gallon zip-loc baggies atop the cluster, and top feeders. Do not rely on Boardman entrance feeders in cold weather since the bees are unable to leave the cluster in order to feed. Avoid feeding your colonies poor quality feed like brown sugar, “mystery” feed, re-melted candy, pancake syrup, molasses, fermented honey and corn syrup with industrial food additives. These contain indigestible components that can have unknown and negative dietary consequences on bees. It can also cause dysentery. Stick to pure table sugar or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Hive protection is another consideration. During times of colder weather, mice love the warm accommodations provided by honey bee colonies. To keep out these unwanted intruders, it is suggested to use an entrance reducer or mouse guard. Usually guards made of metal provide the best protection since mice can not chew through them. These entrance reducers also provide protection from cold drafts.
Once February arrives, don’t forget to re-check colonies for honey stores and a viable queen. Colonies are gearing up for the upcoming nectar flow with increasing populations, therefore supplies will be dwindling. If pollen supplies are low it’s a good idea to put pollen supplements in the colony.
This is also a good time of the year to do repairs, build new equipment and order queens and packages for next spring. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a joyous new year.
From the Descendents of Mutiny on the BountyThe following announcement was released by the
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