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    Apis-Apicultural Information and Issues Florida Extension Beekeeping Newsletter Volume 17, Number 12, December 1999 Taking Stock in 1999: It s again time to
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 15, 1999
      Apis-Apicultural Information and Issues
      Florida Extension Beekeeping Newsletter
      Volume 17, Number 12, December 1999

      Taking Stock in 1999:

      It's again time to stop and consider this year's events as recorded in
      the
      pages of APIS. This is the 203rd issue published, ending this
      newsletter's
      seventeenth year chronicling changes in the apicultural industry. APIS
      welcomes the new century with a continuing commitment to helping
      beekeepers
      face the challenges of the future.

      For the first time this year it became clear that the electronic version
      of
      the newsletter is now dominant, with the printed copy taking a less
      prominent role. Print has not been forgotten, however, as the hard copy
      continues to be mailed to a distribution list of about 1200 in Florida
      and
      the web site also has offered .pdf files, exact replicas of the printed
      version, since 1997. I have not worked up the 1999 web statistics yet,
      but
      they soon will be available along with data from last two years
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/stats/stats97.htm>. I continue to
      get good feedback from the guest book feature on the home page
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis.htm#gb>.

      There are 1699 subscribers to the electronic APIS-L list at the moment,
      continuing this newsletter's predominance as the only electronic,
      interactive publication of its kind in existence serving apiculturists.
      I
      am not sure how valuable the beta edition is to the readership, but it
      has
      certainly added consistency and quality to the print and web version. I
      have received a number of excellent suggestions from list members
      concerning everything from possible political gaffs to misspellings,
      which
      are much appreciated. For those not familiar with the web site, I
      published an in-depth review in the December 1998 edition of "Beekeeping
      in the Digital Age" in Bee Culture magazine
      <http://bee.airoot.com/beeculture/digital/1998/column4.htm>.

      The year started with a surprise. Many had precious little hope for
      approval of the application for a Section 18 emergency exemption to use
      coumaphos (Bayer Bee Strips� now call Check Mite+�) against resistant
      varroa and small hive beetle. However, in what appeared to be a dramatic
      about face, it was given the label by the Environmental Protection Agency
      (EPA) on January 6, 1999
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apjan99.htm#1>. That same
      article discussed why this approval significantly raised the bar on
      pesticide use in beekeeping, now that an organophosphate was involved
      rather than the more benign pyrethroid, fluvalinate, the basis for
      Apistan�. Why approved pesticides should be treated as precious, limited
      resources and how one lost its label in France were also treated in that
      issue <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apjan99.htm#3>. In
      October, renewal of the coumaphos label for the year 2000 was discussed
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apoct99.htm#1>.

      February detailed why resistance to pesticides by mites is a forgone
      conclusion in most pest management situations. Thus, many were not
      surprised when treatment of Varroa using fluvalinate began to lose its
      effectiveness. The appropriate question for most pesticide use,
      therefore,
      is not if resistance develops, but when
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apfeb99.htm#1>. In March,
      the
      use of the term LD50 was described in relation to determining pesticide
      risk <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apmar99.htm#4>, and a
      method for determining Varroa populations in colonies developed by
      scientists working in the United Kingdom (UK) was unveiled
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apmar99.htm#3>.
      Supplemental
      protein feeding
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apmar99.htm#5>
      and the judicious use of smoke were also described
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apmar99.htm#1>.

      April took on the challenges of predicting honey marketing in the future.
      An important concept is that retail food prices are less and less an
      indicator of what the producer receives. At least one scientists sees
      agriculture in a developed information-based society like the United
      States
      as something that can no longer be affordable
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apapr99.htm#2>. Further
      implications of transgenic plants on bees and beekeepers
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apapr99.htm#3>, reactivation
      of the honey loan program <
      http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apapr99.htm#4>, and a
      Brazilian
      honey shortage <
      http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apapr99.htm#5>
      rounded out the issue. In May, I reported on the Africanized honey bee
      find in Jacksonville and how the sudden appearance of these insects
      surprised everyone
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apmay99.htm#1>. In a later
      issue, I discussed the possibility that they might be poised to begin
      their
      land migration from Texas
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apaug99.htm#3>. I also
      described what has been called the "Nemesis affect," often unanticipated
      consequences of transporting biological material from one ecosystem to
      another <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apmay99.htm#2>.

      The June issue described sanitation in the honey house, the first line of
      defense against small hive beetle
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apjun99.htm#1> and other
      microbial organisms, which impact food processing in many ways
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apjun99.htm#2>. It also
      described efforts to control Varroa using specialized bottom boards
      (screens) <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apjun99.htm#4> and
      added information on the value of feeding protein
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apjun99.htm#3>.

      In July, impact of "new" computer technology to find apicultural
      information was described, along with the danger or relying only on
      information from this source at the expense of older, more traditional
      beekeeping literature
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apjul99.htm#1>. I also
      discussed possible impact of the year 2000 computer bug (Y2K) on
      beekeeping
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apjul99.htm#1>, and how the
      real issue of the new millennium, changes in world trade practices, must
      be
      confronted by the beekeeping community at all levels
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apjul99.htm#3>.

      More on Varroa control through bottom board technology
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apaug99.htm#1>, along with a
      prognostication of the future of the feral Africanized bee population, as
      mentioned earlier, were highlighted the August issue. In addition, I
      discussed how the worker protection standard might apply to beekeepers
      and
      how it cannot be ignored
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apaug99.htm#2>. September
      featured a review of certain papers presented at the World Apicultural
      Congress (Apimondia) in Vancouver. These included a discussion of what
      Varroa re-classification might mean to beekeepers and researchers
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apsep99.htm#2>, and the
      effects of the mite on United States' beekeeping since its introduction
      twelve years ago
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apsep99.htm#3>.

      October addressed the situation regarding reissuing the coumaphos label
      as
      noted above. I also addressed the consequences of economic adulteration
      based on a University of Florida study
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apoct99.htm#3>, how
      beekeepers
      might want to think about restructuring their operations in the new
      millennium <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apoct99.htm#4>,
      and
      the results of the continuing Pacific northwest pollination survey
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apoct99.htm#5>. November
      dealt with the problem of American foulbrood, its history and control,
      including the consequences of resistance to oxytetracycline being found
      in
      Canada, the United States and elsewhere. In addition, the topic of honey
      quality as viewed in the United States and Europe was analyzed in view of
      the impending referendum to increase the responsibilities of the National
      Honey Board toward more quality assurance in the United States
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apnov99.htm#2>. The
      Varroa-viral connection was also explored
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apnov99.htm#4>, along with
      information on the Y2K 4-H essay contest and availability of a new
      publication on gardens and bee pollination.

      Stock Importation A Possibility At Last? Only From New Zealand

      Stock importation has been on the beekeeping industry's agenda for a long
      time. This has been increasingly important now that Varroa mites have
      been
      implicated in narrowing the honey bee genetic base in the United States <
      http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis97/apoct97.htm#4>. Over two and
      half years ago, the subject was broached by the Animal and Plant Health
      Inspection Service (APHIS)
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis97/apfeb97.htm#2>. The wheels
      have turned slowly since then, but finally there has been some action.
      Results were published in the Federal Register on December 9, 1999 <
      http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/pdf/aphis_risk_ass.pdf>.
      In
      consultation with the Government of New Zealand, APHIS has prepared a
      draft
      document entitled "Risk Assessment: Importation of Adult Queens, Package
      Bees, and Germ Plasm of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) From New Zealand"
      <
      http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/pra/honeybees/nzhbeepra.htm>.

      This document catalogs diseases and pests found in the United States
      mainland, Hawaii as contrasted to New Zealand. It states: "Based on the
      history of honey bee importations into New Zealand, the absence of any
      reports of species other than Apis mellifera or of other adverse
      subspecies
      or strains, New Zealand honey bees are considered equivalent to honey
      bees
      in the United States." The only real concern appears to be with American
      foulbrood, however, the document states: "Combining the risk ratings for
      consequences and likelihood of introduction, we conclude that the overall
      pest risk potential for P. larvae larvae is low. Although this pest
      already
      occurs in the United States, its listing as a pest of international
      importance relative to the movement of honey bees requires caution.
      Apiary
      inspection programs in the United States also monitor this pest to
      prevent
      its movement in interstate commerce. However, the statutory measures for
      AFB prevention and control in New Zealand are at least equivalent to
      those
      imposed within the United States. Consequently, the inspection and
      certification program currently used by New Zealand for honey bee exports
      to other countries where AFB is endemic and under statutory control are
      adequate for shipments to the United States."

      With reference to other possible problems, the risk assessment concludes:
      "We found no evidence of adverse species, subspecies or strains of honey
      bees that would be of concern relative to the importation of honey bee
      germplasm from New Zealand. Likewise, we found no viruses or other
      disease
      organisms that posed significant risk to the import of germplasm.

      We recommend that all queens and package bees exported from New Zealand
      to
      the United States be from
      apiaries inspected and certified by New Zealand regulatory officials as:

      1.The bees are a product of New Zealand.
      2.The bees are derived from an apiary or apiaries registered and
      inspected under, and
      otherwise complying with, the Biosecurity Act of 1993 and any
      regulations made under
      that Act.
      3.The brood combs in the hives from which the bees are derived
      showed no clinical signs
      of American foulbrood on the day of collection."

      Comments on this document are solicited until February 7, 2000. Send
      four
      copies to: Docket No. 99-091-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD,
      APHIS, Suite 3C03, 4700 River Rd., Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

      Varroa-Tolerant Honey Bees:

      Dr. E.H. Erickson and colleagues at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center
      are
      now confident that Varroa-tolerant bees are a reality in Arizona. At
      least
      that is what their research is showing (American Bee Journal, Vol. 139,
      No.
      12, pp. 931-933). They are using a 65-colony apiary composed of both
      bees
      from African and European descent. Although most of Arizona is
      colonized
      by Africanized honey bees (AHBs), any colony that is over defensive is
      routinely requeened with more gentle stock. Surprisingly, the authors
      have seen no evidence that AHBs are more Varroa-tolerant than European
      bees. This is in contrast to other areas of the world, including nearby
      Mexico <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis97/apmay97.htm#2>.
      This
      lends some credence to the idea that the mite may indeed be responsible
      for
      why AHBs have yet to expand into eastern Texas and along the rest of the
      Gulf of Mexico coastline
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apaug99.htm#3>.

      The authors report their Varroa-tolerant stock has now survived for
      nearly
      five years with an average infestation level or six to seven mites per
      hundred bees. This is the typical level reported by many investigators
      in
      Brazil, were traditionally no chemical mite control is used
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/papers/TERES.HTM#9>. This is also
      in spite of the fact that the mites were identified as the more damaging
      Russian or Korean haplotype by Dr. Denis Anderson
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apsep99.htm#2>. All this
      is
      encouraging, however, the report makes no mention of viruses vectored by
      Varroa, which may also play a role in colony collapse
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apnov99.htm#4 >.

      The levels of Varroa reported by the authors are consistently low even
      during times of stress, and in the 1998 El Ni�o year
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis99/apnov99.htm#3>, when
      resources
      were abundant, colonies averaged 90 pound honey yields. The study will
      now be expanded in an effort to determine the factors contributing to
      tolerance, including hygienic behavior
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis98/apsep98.htm#1>, and adult
      bee
      emergence time. An integrated pest management (IPM) research effort will
      also be mounted based on this information, and should be ready for
      implementation in the year 2000. The ambitious goal is to hold Varroa
      infestation below 5 percent by demonstrating that Varroa-tolerant bee
      populations can be developed from existing stock. In addition, the use
      of
      brood combs with smaller cell diameters and natural products with
      miticidal
      activity are expected to enhance the IPM program
      <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis96/apoct96.htm#3>.

      Threatened Bears in Europe and Florida:

      The autumn 1999 issue of The Beekeepers' Quarterly (Issue 59, pp. 20-22)
      discusses efforts to save Europe's brown bears (Ursus arctos)
      <http://www.panda.org/resources/publications/species/threatened/BrownBear
      /index.htm>.
      It is not easy for farmers and beekeepers to put down the gun, the
      article,
      says but the killing of large mammals to protect human interests is more
      and more being called into questioned. Europeans have taken a page out
      of
      American and Canadian beekeepers' book and are using the technology that
      has the best chance of working, electric fences, to protect their
      apiaries. The LIFE ARCTOS project for brown bear conservation in Greece,
      according to the article, is completing its first two phases over five
      years, part of which is electric fencing of apiaries to minimize killing
      of
      bears by beekeepers. Of 83 participating beekeepers using electric
      fences,
      94 percent were fully satisfied with the results. The article suggests
      electric fencing should be 5 to 6 feet high with the bottom strand six
      inches above the ground and a minimum of 12 inches between the other
      wires. An electrically charged wire netting mat is recommended to extend
      18 inches out from the fence, with batteries and controller inside the
      fence.

      Florida's bear population is under the same pressure as that of the
      European brown bear. The black bear in the Sunshine state is a
      recognized
      subspecies (floridanus) of the animal found elsewhere in the United
      States
      known as Ursus americanus. How threatened the animal is is a matter of
      controversy. Many consider the species endangered
      <http://198.240.72.81/flbrfact.html>, however, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
      Service has not listed Ursus americanus floridanus as part of the
      Endangered Species Act. This has angered many environmental groups, who
      have subsequently brought suit <http://198.240.72.81/pr080399.html>.
      The
      black bear is also a living part of Florida's history, and a festival
      dedicated to this mammal is held in Umatilla, FL each year
      <http://www.villagecircle.com/flbearfest/>.

      A presentation by Tom Eason of the new Florida Fish and Wildlife
      Conservation Commission <http://www.state.fl.us/fwc/> on bears at the
      October 1999 meeting of the Florida State Beekeepers Association
      presented
      information on recent efforts to work with beekeepers concerning bear
      problems. Research in Tennessee is confirming the effectiveness of
      electric fences as preventative measures, along with the practice of
      aversive conditioning. Bears found in nuisance situations are darted and
      a
      tooth is pulled. After being treated in this manner, it is thought the
      experience will deter further visits. Study also showed that bears are
      opportunistic omnivores. This means they do not actively search out
      apiaries, but disturb them only when and if they find them. Bears, like
      humans, follow the course of least resistance. Thus, placing apiaries
      out
      of their path, away from established roads and watercourses, are good
      location strategies. Electric fences similar to those used in Europe are
      recommended for any Florida apiary in bear country
      <http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AA133>. Mr. Eason said that beekeepers
      having
      problems with bears should contact one of the five regional offices of
      the
      Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
      <http://www.state.fl.us/fwc/whos-who/regnoffc.html>. Mr. Eason can be
      contacted at (850) 413-7379. The Commission publishes a nifty pamphlet
      entitled Living with the Florida Black Bear.

      Bee Meetings:

      The American Beekeeping Federation meets in Fort Worth, TX January 11-16,
      2000 <http://www.abfnet.org/Convention/schedule.html>. For information,
      phone (912) 427-4233 or e-mail info@abfnet.

      The Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) meets at the Sheraton Inn in
      Gainesville, FL January 17-21, 2000. For information, contact Mr.
      Laurence
      Cutts, Division of Plant Industry, ph (352) 372-3505 x 128.

      The annual bee "snowbird" beekeepers meeting at Archbold Biological
      Station
      is scheduled for February 12, 2000. For information, contact Paul Cappy,
      ph (607) 749-2364.


      --
      =========================================================================
      ======
      Dr. Malcolm (Tom) Sanford, Extension Apiculturist, University of Florida
      Bldg. 970, P.O. Box 110620, Gainesville, FL 32611-0620
      Ph. 352/392-1801 ext. 143 Fax 352/392-0190
      E-mail: mts@...
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      Bob & Teresa Butcher
      May the Good Lord Bless you and keep you.
      Come and join us.
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      chess-challengers@onelist.com

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