Latest News from Project Apis mNovember 2012
PAmCC with UrL 

The White House beehive on the South Lawn is located to the left.

Washington, D.C.  Photo by Meg Ribotto 2012

  National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health

Scientists, beekeepers, growers and other stakeholders convened in Alexandria, VA on October 15-17th to report on honey bee health. 

PAm's Christi Heintz was one of the stakeholders asked to give an opening comment.  Heintz updated the audience on PAm's 'Seeds for Bees Project' and the need for more forage for honey bees, especially for the 1.6M commercially managed bees that are needed to pollinate the almond crop.  Honey bee nutrition was center-stage as Dr. Jeff Pettis, USDA-ARS, focused on the crucial role that diet plays in the overall health of bees.  According to Pettis, bee losses of 41% can be attributed to starvation. "One good year is not a trend" stated Pettis, referring to over-wintering colony losses of 21.9%. What does Pettis suggest?  Habitat improvement, plant diversity, and mixed sources of pollen.  "Place bees where they have a mixed diet" he advised.  Pettis further added that more reports by researchers and scientists will be forthcoming this year on the importance of honey bee nutrition.

Project Update - Seeds for Bees
PAm has been very busy this Fall distributing seeds to California cooperators.  To date, we have over 20 almond growers and over 15 almond 'neighbors' who have enthusiastically volunteered their land, time, labor and equipment to sow seeds for honey bees.  PAm targeted planting this Fall to take advantage of Mother Nature and the winter rains.  Our goal - seed mixes to bloom prior to and after almonds.  Currently we have 400+ acres dedicated for honey bee forage in the central valley of California!

  Seeds for Bees Project

Project Apis m. is working to build a sustainable honeybee supply for pollination services in California.  This can be done through floral diversity.  Would you like to help us develop bee forage?  Are you interested in providing nutrition for over-wintering bees in California?  PAm will provide the seed, if you plant it.  Available is rapini (Brassica family), a clover & vetch mix and wildflower mix.  If you are a CA grower or landowner/manager desiring to participate, click here and fill out the brief questionnaire on our website and attach it to an email and send to

Visit the PAm Website for Forage Resources
PAm is building honey bee populations by building food resources.  We are looking at mustards, clover/vetch mixes, wildflower mixtures and oilseed crops as a means of providing sustainable nutrition for bees.  Click here to view PAm's forage resource page.
Apivar - Amitraz Strips - Section 18 in S.D.
Beekeepers in South Dakota received a Section 18 for the use of Apivar to control Varroa mitesSection 18 of FIFRA authorizes EPA to allow states to use a pesticide for an unregistered use for a limited time if EPA determines that emergency conditions exist. Use BMP's - Best Management Practices - Check hives, early detection is key.  Follow regional guidelines for action thresholds for Varroa control.  Follow label directions.  Continue to inspect colonies and treatment as necessary. 

CSBA's 123rd Annual Convention

Register now for the CA State Beekeeper's Association Conference by

clicking here.  This year's speakers include Christi Heintz, PAm, Dr. Jeff Pettis, USDA-ARS, Dr. Eric Mussen, UCDavis, and Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, BIP, to just name a few.


     Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, Morongo, CA

Photo by Meg Ribotto 2012

MORE - Upcoming Beekeeping Conferences
ABF -     January 8 - 12, 2013 Hershey, PA
AHPA -   January 8 - 12, 2013 San Diego, CA
The Almond Board of California celebrates its 40th Anniversary December 11 - 13, 2012 at the Sacramento Convention Center.  A 'Pollination Pavillion' will be featured again this year at the conference.
For more info on all these events click here.
Additional Watering Systems at Border Stations
Out-of-state honey bee colonies will be able to quench their thirst and keep cool as they wait to be inspected and cleared for entry into California for the 2013 pollination season.  CDFA announced on Sept. 28th that with joint funding from the CA State Beekeeper's Association (CSBA), Project Apis m. (PAm), Almond Board of CA and the CA State Apiary Board, the upgrading and installation of hose bibs at those stations that see the bulk of truckloads coming through is underway.  The watering system is already in place in Blythe (along I-10) and Yermo (I-15).  CDFA is currently working on:  Vidal (CA Hwy 62), Needles (I-40), Benton (US Hwy 6), and Truckee (I-80).  'Planting Seeds', the Food & Farming News from CDFA, states that while the ag border stations don't want pathogens and pests entering, 'there are some things that we want to welcome in, though - and bees are right at the top of that list.Good news for the over 2,700 (2010) truckloads that will begin to migrate this month to California to pollinate the almond.

Preparing Honeybee Colonies for CA Border Inspection Stations

PAm, in conjuction with CSBA, initiated a meeting with CDFA last year to help alleviate the stress caused by heat and dehydration that honeybee colonies suffer during the transportation of colonies to pollinate almonds and other crops. Out-of-state beekeepers are encouraged to:  1. Outfit trucks with soaker hoses and carry additional hoses and sprinklers click here; 2. Remove skirts from semi's 3. Obtain "Ant Free" Certification and; 4. Keep pallets as clean as possible - free from soil, weeds and plant debris To assist beekeepers, PAm has a PDF which can be downloaded by clicking here and a BMP video on YouTube narrated by  PAm scientific advisor, Dr. Gordon Wardell.  This 5-6 minute video covers the topic of honeybee colonies entering California to pollinate almonds and other crops. Border inspection stations and how to prepare for mandatory inspections are some of the issues addressed.  To view the Transportation video click here


   November Bee Husbandry

  • Nutrition:  Fall is a critical time to maintain bee strength and build baby bees for almond pollination.
  • Forage can be limited in early Fall - supplemental feeding is critical.
  • Requeen:  Over-wintering colonies fare better if young.
  • Inspect & Monitor:  Continue to inpect colonies & apply treatments as necessary to control pests & diseases.
  • Transportation:  Prepare colonies for transport to CA; have colonies inspected & certified in state-of-origin to mitigate border station delays; install soaker hoses and carry additional hoses to water bees at border hosebibs, and remove semi skirting.
  • Business Management:  Maintain a reserve - don't commit all your colonies to contract.
  • Colony Management:  Check frames of brood for intended strength to coincide with almond bloom.  
            Elearning Modules on PAm Website  
PAm has developed and implemented an outreach program of sustainable Best Management Practices (BMPs) for beekeepers.  Modules can be accessed online for Nutrition, Varroa Control, Nosema & other areas.  Click here to view the modules.  These short, fun and educational models are designed for honey bee enthusiasts of all levels.  Start learning today!
             Reading The Beekeeper's Lament?    
If not, NOW is the time to purchase the book.  Why?  $5 from every Beekeepers Lamentsale will go to PAm to fund honey bee research.  This critically acclaimed and national best seller by Hannah Nordhaus can be purchased by clicking on the image.  Read about PAm board member John Miller, a 4th generation beekeeper.  Find out what it takes to pollinate crops to feed the nation. 




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In This Issue
Seeds for Bees Project
PAm Forage Page
Section 18 South Dakota
CSBA Convention
Convention Dates
H2O for Honey Bees
November Bee Husbandry
Elearning Modules
$5 From Every Sale Helps the Bees!

Quick Links

E-Learning Modules

Lab Directory

BMP's for Beekeepers

Sample Pollination Contract

Bee Conference Dates

Cummings Report


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