Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Birds and bees

Expand Messages
  • Malcolm (Tom) Sanford
    Excerpted from: http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/letters/aix5_30.htm The Ile d’Yeu at first glance would seem to be a beekeeper’s paradise. This has
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 23, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      Excerpted from: http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/letters/aix5_30.htm

      The Ile d’Yeu at first glance would seem to be a beekeeper’s paradise. This
      has not been lost on others who have brought in hives from the mainland,
      much to Mr. Vienne’s dismay, and with them the Varroa mite’s arrival seems
      inevitable. Actually, being mite free in a world otherwise full of Varroa
      may not be in the best interests of any breeder nowadays, as it can result
      in a bee that is more susceptible to parasitism. Mites, nevertheless, are
      not the most potentially troublesome problem on the island. That is
      reserved for the numerous insectivorous martinets (Apus apus) and swallows
      that can be seen swooping low over Mr. Vienne’s mating yard gobbling up the
      fat, gray drones and queens as they try to couple in midair.

      These birds can eat a lot of bees, according to Mr. Vienne, and their
      population seems to increase each year. He has dissected several and found
      them full of drones and queens, but not workers. Research done in Algeria
      shows that honey bees are not the preferred food of these birds. However,
      the problem seems to be that alternative food insects (pheidole wasps in
      Algeria) are not present in sufficient numbers to keep honey bees off the
      menu. The smallness of the island and its isolation, those things that make
      it so ideal for bee breeding, also mean a limited food base for the birds.
      They are protected species making shooting them out of the question. The
      draining and clearing of what little wild habitat remains on the island
      also reduces the insect population. Mr. Vienne has tried everything to
      solve this problem. He has communicated with researchers around the world
      for ideas, but come up empty handed so far. One wild idea would be to raise
      a more preferred insect for the birds, providing an alternative diet. I
      suggested keeping mating nuclei in forested areas, but Mr. Vienne said he
      already had tried that and as soon as the bees made any altitude above the
      trees, they were easy targets. Should anyone have ideas about this
      predicament, Mr. Vienne asks that they be communicated to him at Oya,
      Station Apicole de L’ile d’Yeu, “le Marais Salé” 85350 Ile d’Yeu FRANCE,
      tél and fax 02-51-58-39-43. From outside France omit the first zero after
      the country code (33). Soon the station will have a world wide web site
      through the assistance of Mr. Gilles Ratia
      (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/APISERVICES)

      Tom Sanford


      ====================================================
      Dr. Malcolm (Tom) Sanford, Extension Apiculturist
      University of Florida
      E-mail: mts@...
      Publisher of the APIS newsletter:
      http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~mts/apishtm/apis.htm
      Author of "Beekeeping in the Digital Age":
      http://bee.airoot.com/beeculture/digital/
      -----------------------------------------------------
      In Ecuador until 4 October 2000
      Apt. 10A, Edif. Ivsemon Park
      Belgica #392 y Shyris, Quito
      Tel. 593-2-250-648
      Or Comision Fulbright
      Almagro #25-41 y Colon, Quito
      P.O. Box 17-07-9081
      Tel. 593-2-222-103/104 or 593-2-509-523
      =====================================================
    • Larry H.
      thanks y all. bad news, but better to avoid the problem than learn the hard way. larry h. abu dhabi
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 26, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
        thanks y'all. bad news, but better to avoid the problem than learn
        the hard way.

        larry h.
        abu dhabi
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.