Accommodations are available off campus in the Clemson area as follows:
PENSACOLA, Fla. (January 24, 2011) – Last week representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the pesticide industry met with university researchers, conservationists and beekeeping groups in Florida to discuss the way that pesticide risks to bees are evaluated. The conference, which was organized by the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), is considered by U.S. government agencies and industry-watchers to be the first step in evaluating whether current guidelines on measuring pesticide toxicity are effective.
Currently, the EPA only evaluates pesticide toxicity to honey bees, while bumble bees and other crop-pollinating bee species are given no consideration. Beekeeping groups have also questioned the validity of the existing honey bee hazard evaluation process in the U.S., and have pushed the agency to develop stricter standards in the wake of highly publicized bee deaths. Previous SETAC conferences have reviewed the pesticide risk standards to wildlife such as fish and birds, resulting in more stringent requirements on the part of manufacturers. This was the first SETAC conference focused specifically on bees.
"We are generally pleased with the increased intensity of pesticide screening that was discussed, as well as the inclusion of non-honey bee species in the testing process," said Mace Vaughan, Pollinator Program Director at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, who attended the conference. "We hope that this will lead the EPA to adopt more thorough risk management strategies for pollinators."
Pollinators have been the focus of several conservation initiatives spearheaded by the Xerces Society and beekeeping groups in recent years, who point out that the ecological service bees, butterflies and other pollinators provide is necessary for the reproduction of more than 70 percent of the world's plants. This includes two-thirds of the world's crop species, whose fruits and seeds together provide over thirty percent of the foods that we consume. Dramatic declines of both wild and domesticated bees have resulted in a growing awareness of threats such as habitat loss, diseases and pesticide use.
"It is vitally important that the EPA better address the impact that these toxic substances have on honey bees and native bees," said Zac Browning of the American Beekeeping Federation, who also attended the conference. "Adoption of the final recommendations from this workshop, which are expected in the next several months, is a good first step. But much more will need to be done to truly protect these important pollinators."
In the U.S. alone, more than 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides are applied annually. Penn State researchers have identified traces of more than eighty different pesticide products in nearly all honey bee hives they examine, with several of these compounds being implicated in bee deaths.
The Xerces Society and the American Beekeeping Federation recommend that the EPA:
* Adopt a strong risk assessment strategy for both honey bees and native bees based on the information developed at the conference.
* Conduct a robust review of neonicitinoid pesticides, which have been implicated in bee deaths.
* Develop better labeling so that consumers can easily determine which pesticides are most toxic to bees and understand how to use the pesticides while limiting risk to pollinators.
ABOUT THE XERCES SOCIETY
The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs. To learn more about our work or to donate to the Society, please visit http://www.xerces.org/www.xerces.org.
Mace Vaughan, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation: 503.232.6639, firstname.lastname@example.org@xerces.org
Zac Browning, American Beekeeping Federation: 208.523.3692, email@example.com_browning@msn.com
Chappie McChesney, Alachua, FL
We who live in the South have seen the headlines screaming in the papers and on our local newscasts: “Beware the Killer Bees, Beware the Killer Bees!!!”
Newscasters and newsprint publishers like sensationalism and get as much coverage as they can to boost their ratings and sell their product. They will search out anyone who has been stung by a bee and try to tie it into the Africanized Bees, referred to as “AHB” by most folks in the bee world and “Killer Bees” by the public. Sometimes they report AHB stings in areas where there are no AHB. You can go on any search engine and type in, “AHB locations in US,” and you will find maps, charts and lots of information on the AHB.
Are they dangerous? Of course, they are just as dangerous as any stinging insect is dangerous if you have a bad encounter with them. The problem with AHB is that they are more aggressive than the European honey bees or Apis mellifera. They don’t just chase you away from their nest or hive, but continue to aggressively chase you for a half mile or more.
The AHB have caused some long-time beekeepers to leave the business due to the extra cost of insurance, extra gear needed to work AHB, and of course the cost of hiring people dedicated enough to put up with the extra work needed to make a living with AHB. Since AHB swarm more than the European bees that beekeepers have been keeping for years, it takes much more time and effort to work them, but it can be done and is being done in parts of the world where the AHB have taken over the area.
They are a problem that can be dealt with, but we have a bigger problem facing beekeepers around the world and it may happen in your local area as well, even if you are not in an area where the AHB are located.
What I am referring to are the folks who are not into beekeeping for the right reasons. They seem so eager to get into beekeeping, coming to the meetings of your local bee club, asking a million questions and appearing to be willing to become a great asset to the club.
The problem arises usually after a year or two when they get to the point that they now “know everything” and want to be the person in charge. I call these folks “Bee Killers”. They are dangerous and need to be watched for.
Did they put in their time learning under a mentor and working with the bees for years out in the rain, heat, cold, and taking the thousands of stings that happen when a forklift flips over or a truck gets into an accident and the millions of bees are aggravated and in a stinging mood? Have they ever gotten their veil caught on something and had it pulled off just as the bees attacked? Ouch! Have they lost entire outyards to vandals, fire or diseases like foulbrood? Or worse, did they lose hives and equipment to the thieves thar are becoming more prevalent now that the price of honey is going up and the demand for pollination goes higher?
Many old-time beekeepers will not join a bee club because of all the problems they have faced over the years with these Bee Killers. I stopped attending meetings myself back in the 1980’s because of this very thing. Now after retiring, I am trying to do my part to help our bees and other pollinators by starting new bee clubs and mentoring new beekeepers.
Beekeepers are a kind lot and welcome with open arms anyone who likes honey, wants to learn the correct ways of keeping bees, or just wants to help save the bees from all the harmful chemicals and bee pests in the world today. But who wants to attend a meeting where one side is antagonistic to the others?
State and even national bee organizations need to stress the importance that all organizations should strive to be efficiently run and have some type of support system in place to help the local bee clubs. Many folks ask why they should join a state or national organization: “Why spend money on an organization that is just building up their mailing list so they can ask you for more money constantly?”
A good club should strive for 100% participation.
If you want to be a beekeeper, you should stop and ask yourself the following questions:
* Am I trying to learn all I can about bees and the proper way to keep them?
* Am I supporting the club leaders and offering my time and talents to make the club better?
* Am I willing to make changes in the way I keep my bees if someone shows me a better way?
* Am I willing to support someone even if I disagree with what they are doing until a better solution comes along?
* Am I willing to step up and do what is best for the club?
* Am I willing to ask questions if I don’t understand what is being said, instead of just complaining about how the “clique” only cares about itself?
We have folks who hate commercial beekeepers. One told me she hates them because they adulterate their honey, use chemicals that are not good for humans to eat, and keep the small beekeepers down so that they can’t make any money. When asked for proof, you get the same answer: “Well, that’s what I heard.” That is a Bee Killer attitude.
Think about what you are saying. Have you ever been a commercial beekeeper with the unbelievable costs and problems that go with it? If you haven’t been there, give it a rest and be thankful for the ones who spend so much time away from family and friends to make sure we have honey in the stores, not to mention all the other products they provide.
What about the commercial beekeepers who won’t help the small beekeeper? I have heard commercial beekeepers complain that “hobbyists” (I hate that word) are ruining beekeeping because they don’t know what they are doing and they are helping to spread bee diseases, etc.
Wait a minute. Did you start with the 1000 hives you have, or did you work your way up by increasing each year? Did an old timer help you learn what you know now, or did someone loan you the money to buy the equipment you have? Did someone help you along? Don’t be a Bee Killer by discouraging the new beekeeper who may replace you some day.
SOURCE: American Bee Journal, November 2010.
July 14, 2011 (Tentative Program as of June 7, 2011)
View the event page to learn more >
HONEY NUT AND FRUIT EMPANADAS
HONEY BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
ORANGE HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN
|HONEY ROASTED RED POTATOES
Yield 4 servings
1 pound red potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly coat an 11x7 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Place potatoes in a single layer in prepared dish, and top with onion. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, honey, mustard, salt and pepper; drizzle over potatoes and onion.
Bake in the preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 35 minutes or until tender, stirring halfway through the cooking time.
1 pkg. Little Smokies
1 ½ cup brown sugar
1 pkg. bacon
3 tablespoons honey
Toothpicks (soak in water for at least an hour so they don’t burn in the oven)
Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick baking spray. Preheat oven to 325°.
Cut bacon into 3 inch strips and wrap each strip around a little smokie. Hold bacon in place with a toothpick. Place onto the cookie sheet close together.
Warm the honey so you can drizzle it over the wrapped smokies. Drizzle the honey over the whole pand and then sprinkle with the brown sugar. Completely cover the smokies.
Bake at 325° for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is done. Remove from oven and serve warm.
SOURCE: Kelley Bees News: Modern Beekeeping Newsletter, Issue 6, December 2010.
|BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Yield 6 servings
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
2 celery stalk, diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
3 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken broth
½ cup honey
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic. Cook and stir until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrots, celery, potatoes, squash, chicken broth, honey and thyme. Bring mixture to boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Transfer mixture to blender or food processor; process until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat until hot and serve.
SOURCE: Kelley Bees News: Modern Beekeeping Newsletter, Issue 6, December 2010.
Calendar for 2011/2012
July 7-9 – North Carolina State Beekeepers summer meeting, Elon Univ., Elon, NC
July 14-16 - South Carolina Beekeepers summer meeting in Clemson, www.scstatebeekeepers.org
July 25-29 - Eastern Apicultural Society Summer Conference in Warwick, Rhode Island, see www.easternapiculture.org for more details.
January 10-14, 2012 – American Beekeeping Federation annual conference, Las Vegas, Nevada
Comments or Questions, Contact:
Mike Hood, Extension Apiculturist, 864-656-0346, firstname.lastname@example.org
Clemson University, Dept. of Entomology, Soils, & Plant Sciences
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