The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – January 2019

- January 1, 2019 -

Camp Fire Survival
Hive Survives the California Camp Fire

On Thursday morning November the 8th, we woke up to the beginning of the Camp Fire. Within a very short time, maybe less than an hour, we had to evacuate our home with all the pets we could gather and the clothes on our back. Sadly, we had to leave our hive behind as there just wasn’t time to save them. We lost our home, my car and the Veterinary Hospital I worked for also burned. Needless to say, I was so happy to see them flying in and out of the hive when we were finally able to get up there yesterday!

My mother works at the Chico Police Dept, and we were able to get an escort up there to retrieve our remaining goats, chicken, one cat and 3 of my turtles, but there wasn’t time to get the hive. Not to mention, all of my and my husband’s beekeeping supplies burned in the house, so even if I had time I didn’t have the equipment. This morning I called Olivarez Honey Bees (OHB) in Orland to see if they could gain access to my property and get those ladies to somewhere where there is something to eat.  This is still a developing story as OHB is going to call me back this afternoon with a plan. I have many pictures of our escape out of town, as well as our property after the fire that I took yesterday. If you are interested in more details let me know. I’m just so overjoyed that they survived, I wanted to share this good news with everyone!

Erin Dickerson

Please Support the bee informed partnership

Bee Informed Partnership would like to take a moment to thank you and your club for educating and sharing the love and excitement of beekeeping with your community! We happen to be huge fans of honey bees and of you.

For those who are not familiar with us, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization responsible for researching and collecting a variety of honey bee data and making it available for all to use.

A few of our projects include the Colony Loss Map, Sentinel Apiary Project, the National Management Survey, and supporting and managing the USDA APHIS National Honey Bee Pest and Disease survey.

We house and maintain the largest honey bee health database in the U.S. These data are public and free.

We also work closely with a large number of commercial beekeepers across the country to monitor colony health and provide them with near real time data on the overall health of their colonies so that they can make data driven decisions that help them support our national food security.

We would love to stay focused on our research and to do that we depend on your support. We are not a government organization and we are able to remain independent and unbiased in our work; however, we have an ever growing need for additional funding to push our efforts forward.

In this, the Season of Giving, we’d like to ask you for a donation. All donations are greatly appreciated and are fully tax deductible!

Here are several ways you can show your support – choose 1 or all!

Thank you so much for your support and please share this with your friends, family, old classmates, current classmates and that nice neighbor that always pops over the fence to ask “How are the bees?!”

 Karen Rennich
Bee Informed Partnership Executive Director
University of Maryland
Entomology Department
4112 Plant Sciences Building
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 443.600.5229

Precision Pollination

This e-mail is in response to the recent article titled “Precision pollination“ in ABJ. The following two sentences caught my special attention:

– They are able to train bees to forage on specific crops more efficiently, simply by feeding the colonies crop-scented syrup before moving them into the fields.

– The idea is that when the researchers spike colonies‘ feeders with these blends, the bees‘ foraging decisions should be biased towards those crops.

The catchy term “precision pollination“ describes this behavior very well, however, it is not a new idea. Did you know that von Frisch published in 1947 a 189 page book titled “Duftgelenkte Bienen im Dienste der Landwirtschaft und Imkerei“ (= Odor guided honeybees in the service of agriculture and beekeeping)? In this book von Frisch published the results of  his work on ….