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BIOLOGICAL BEEKEEPING

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  • Doc Bullard
    Two important events have happened recently. The Secretary of Agric in the US announced organic standards for agriculture (excluded was the beekeeping industry
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 21, 2000
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      Two important events have happened recently. The Secretary of Agric
      in the US announced organic standards for agriculture (excluded was
      the beekeeping industry by the way) and the National Honey Board held
      a meeting in Washington D.C. to identify Key Issues needing to be
      addressed: At the meeting in Washington were representatives from the
      ABF, AHPA, Mid-US honey produces, National Honey Packers and Dealers
      Assoc, Sioux Honey, US Beekeepers, western States Honey Packers and
      Dealers Assoc and the NHB.

      As much of the upcoming meetings on the subjects covered will pertain
      to quality control and honey standards with a federal register still
      to be sent out for the beekeeping industry for commments as to
      Organic Honey, we will need to keep on top of issues here in the US.

      I have now talked to Washington D.C. representatives and the National
      Honey Board for transcripts of the meeting or all future meetings so
      that beekeepers that are biologically inclined wanting organic
      products and are actually doing the work will have a voice.

      Right now we have a new discussion list up and running and are
      setting parameters on what is biological beekeeping. We will probably
      have to go further and set parameters as to organic honey and what it
      involves also.

      Further, to gain power of position in a battle many of us have been
      in now for over 18 years, a new either biological beekeepers Assoc or
      organic beekeepers assoc will probably have to be formed to pass
      written material into testimony to have points of view read and heard
      and taken into consideration in the writing of the final rulings as
      to what biological beekeeping actually is and what the product
      standards will be.

      Action is already being taken upon this. Input is now solicited.
      Comments, etc....

      I do not believe that beekeepers and associations not actually doing
      the work should be setting standards for us now into it to follow
      later. We should be the ones doing that.

      Will Keep you all posted.

      Sincerely,

      Dee A. Lusby
      Tucson, Arizona, USA
      ____________________

      Bee Friendly,

      Doc
    • Allen Dick
      ... That is very true. What concerns me is that the research we read often does not take this into consideration, and often wonder about its validity. allen
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 23, 2000
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        > Few beekeepers question whether their systems of bee breeding and colony
        > management adversely affect the normal biological processes of honey bees.
        > And
        > even fewer consider assuring that the environment within the hive is
        > "natural"­as close as possible to that which is optimal for honey bee
        > survival. It seems that we
        > have come to expect that honey bee colonies are generic and are only found
        > in nearly square white boxes just as children believe that milk comes from
        > paper or
        > plastic containers.

        That is very true. What concerns me is that the research we read often does not
        take this into consideration, and often wonder about its validity.

        allen
      • tomas mozer
        for more information on biological/natural/organic beekeeping see b.birkey s website at http://beesource.com/ from the Recently posted in the Forum:
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 23, 2000
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          for more information on biological/natural/organic beekeeping see
          b.birkey's website at http://beesource.com/

          from the "Recently posted in the Forum: Natural/Domestic/Feral Beekeeping"
          contribution by d.lusby:

          In an article published in October 1995 in the Journal of Economic
          Entomology by N.M. Schiff and W.S. Sheppard titled "Genetic Analysis of
          commercial Honey Bees from the Southeastern United States, we have learned
          "The lack of A.m. mellifera haplotypes in the commercial population is
          indicative of restricted gene flow between feral and commmercial
          populations."
          Also stated in the paper is "Significant genetic differences between
          commercial and feral populations suggest that the feral populations may
          represent a novel source of genetic variation for breeding programs."


          also relevant to this discussion is e.h.erickson's article on "stress and
          honey bees" at http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/publ/stress.html

          the following is from the introduction:

          Few beekeepers question whether their systems of bee breeding and colony
          management adversely affect the normal biological processes of honey bees.
          And
          even fewer consider assuring that the evnironment within the hive is
          "natural"�as close as possible to that which is optimal for honey bee
          survival. It seems that we
          have come to expect that honey bee colonies are generic and are only found
          in nearly square white boxes just as children believe that milk comes from
          paper or
          plastic containers. The fact is, of course, that before the intervention of
          beekeepers, feral (wild) honey bees were (and still are) highly adapted to
          native habitats
          and utilize as domiciles naturally occurring cavities in living trees, rock
          crevices, ground holes and other similar spaces. As beekeepers, we assume
          that the white
          boxes we provide as hives are somehow adequate if not better than natural
          cavities. We find it difficult to understand why, given our breeding and
          management
          strategies, our bees are often unable to withstand the onslaughts of
          weather, diseases, mites and perhaps even the incursion of Africanized bees.
          The fact is that
          from the very moment we place bees in artificial wooden hives, we impose
          upon them a large measure of stress.





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        • tomas mozer
          excerpted from the bee-list for information/discussion purposes, see the entire posting at http://listserv.albany.edu:8080/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0012d&L=bee-l
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 24, 2000
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            excerpted from the bee-list for information/discussion purposes, see the
            entire posting at
            http://listserv.albany.edu:8080/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0012d&L=bee-l
            &F=&S=&P=1547

            Date: Sun, 24 Dec 2000
            From: Barry Donovan <DonovanB@...>
            Subject: Pseudoscorpions

            ...Briefly, and as several people have posted, there are reported to be two
            species of pseudoscorpions living among bees in South African hives. Adults
            are about 6 mm long. Pseudos (for short) are said to prey upon pollen mites,
            the bee fly, and insect larvae such as those of wax moths, and also almost
            certainly larvae of the hive beetles (2 species). Bees are thought not to be
            preyed upon.
            I was unable to find any recent research or researchers working on pseudos
            and honey bees anywhere. However I did find a paper which reported that a
            pseudo of a different species that lives among bees in the Belgian Congo did
            appear to kill a bee when the two were confined together in a container.
            This suggests that great caution needs to be exercised before pseudos are
            imported into hives of European honey bees. We need to determine whether in
            fact pseudos will eat Varroa, and whether or not they eat bee eggs and/or
            larvae.
            Intriguingly, in 1922 an item in Bee World suggested that perhaps acarine
            mites erupted because Chelifer cancroides no longer had breeding sites in
            modern clean sawn-timber hives, whereas skeps had numerous nooks and
            crannies that sheltered pseudo nests. If this is true, then perhaps
            restoration of breeding sites for pseudos within our hives may lessen many
            of the problems being experienced with mites and insects?
            At least one species of pseudos lives in colonies of the eastern honey bee,
            so perhaps it predates Varroa, and if so, this may contribute to the lack of
            a Varroa problem in Apis cerana?...

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          • tomas mozer
            check out ian rumsey s ( http://www.beedata.com/data3/hollowtree.htm ) alternative views on The Hollow Tree Experiment and The Development of the
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 31, 2000
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              check out ian rumsey's ( http://www.beedata.com/data3/hollowtree.htm )
              alternative views on "The 'Hollow Tree' Experiment" and "The Development of
              the Geometrically Modified Hive" at the Beekeeping Database Net Resources
              website ( http://www.beedata.com/articles.htm )

              "Bee hives in Great Britain have been infested with the varroa mite since
              1992.
              Unless treated, the bee colony dies due to this infestation.
              Bees have an inherent ability to groom themselves free of the varroa mite.
              In a conventional bee hive this is not apparent due to the hive entrance
              being at floor level
              which allows groomed varroa mites to regain the colony by attaching
              themselves to
              incoming bees....
              An Explanation regarding the Survival of Wild Bee Colonies:
              Grooming and the uncapping of cells containing deformed embryo bees is
              sufficient to limit the
              varroa mite population in wild colonies and is most apparent when there are
              more mites than
              available nest sites.
              At this time the mites become more active and more easily groomed and the
              reduction of brood
              allows the nurse bees more grooming opportunity."
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