The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – August 2016

- August 1, 2016 - - (excerpt)

Bee Water and Sphagnum Peat Moss

Poultry waterer with sphagnum peat moss addedPerfect solution! Thank you so much for publishing Tibor Csincsa’s Letter to the Editor titled “More On Bees and Water” in the June 2016 issue. I have struggled over the years to develop a dependable watering solution for my bee yards where water is not readily available. Either the water gets consumed by other animals or becomes a breeding pool for mosquitoes. Attached are photos of the simple solution based on Mr. Csincsa’s letter. Basically I purchased a 5-gallon metal poultry waterer for around $30 from a local farm supply store. After setting it up on a level surface, I filled the outer tray with Sphagnum Peat Moss purchased from a big box home improvement store ($10 for a 100 year supply!). Last, I filled the center tank with water I brought in a 5-gallon bucket with lid. Voila! As you can see the bees love sucking up the water from the sponge-like Sphagnum peat moss and no more mosquito larvae or watering the wildlife which should result in fewer trips to replenish the water.

Eric Krouse, Owner

Photo Caption:
Poultry waterer with sphagnum peat moss added

Virginia Beekeeper Limited Liability Law Signed

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed into law ‘HB535 Beekeepers: Limited Liability Legislation’ on Wednesday, March 30th.

This legislation is similar to legislation passed a couple of years ago in West Virginia and will make Virginia the second state to pass such legislation. Judge Dan O’Hanlon (retired) from Huntington, West Virginia, and Delegate Richard Bell of Waynesboro, VA, were instrumental in getting this bill drafted and passed. Judge O’Hanlon was the driving force in getting the legislation passed in West Virginia and assisted Lannie Ballard, Virginia State Beekeepers Association Legislative Chairperson, with information used to get the proposed legislation drafted. Delegate Bell introduced the bill and got it passed in Virginia.

This bill provides that a beekeeper shall not be liable for any personal injury or property damage that occurs in connection with his keeping and maintaining of bees, bee equipment, queen breeding equipment, apiaries, and appliances if he remains in conformance with local zoning restrictions and best management practices established in regulations adopted by the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The immunity does not extend to intentional tortious conduct or acts of omission that constitute gross negligence. The Board is directed to adopt initial regulations to be effective no later than Nov. 1, 2016. In addition, the bill requires that any person owning or operating an apiary that is not located on his own property shall post the name and address of the owner or operator in a conspicuous place in the apiary.

Lannie Ballard
Virginia State Beekeepers Association
Legislative Chairperson

 Sometimes You Get Lucky

In the world of Apis mellifera, there are countless scenarios to assist you in locating and identifying The Queen. You’d think this shouldn’t be hard, R I G H T ! Let’s see, she should be a little bigger than the workers. Not always, especially if she’s young. Should have a longer abdomen, true. Wings don’t reach to end of her body, true. A noticeably different walk with her…