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April 2015 
The Significant Seventies
Earth Day sign


I don't know about you, but the seventies were pretty significant.  My first driver's license, first voting, graduations (high school, college)... my first bee class, bee hives and honey extracting!  Then there was another important date.  When day dawned on April 22, 1970, we saw our first Earth Day.  The day was unprecedented. Thousands dedicated themselves to picking up tons of litter.  Reynolds Metals Co. sent trucks to 18 college campuses in 14 states to collect aluminum cans in "trash-ins".  Hundreds gave up the automobile for a day.  Air, water and chemical pollution were the focus.  Activists had their day, while corporations often accused of environmental harm used the day to publicize their public good.  Forty-five years later we are still celebrating Earth Day.  Take the day to ponder what has changed!


Bee with 22 Apr sign

And spend just a moment during the day on April 22 to thank a beekeeper for what he/she does.  Beekeepers are stewards of the land - they are in continual search for safe habitat, pollen and nectar for their bees.  Beekeepers are stewards of a remarkable insect that pollinate a third of the food we eat.  Bees are stewards of our seeds, plants and crops as they perform the necessary pollination to insure continued life on Earth for humans and plants.   I'll take it one step further.  
In honor of the 45th Earth Day, help honey bees and beekeepers; buy an acre of bee habitat for $45 with Project Apis m.  Visit, see our "$45 for Forage" plea and we'll tell you how to buy an acre of bee habitat in honor of Earth Day!  Thanks for helping Mother Earth, and we'll put your name in our next enewsletter! 



Christi Heintz

Executive Director  


PAm Speaks Out to the GAO
1st Earth Day assembly


Free speech is a valued American privilege.   In keeping with our Earth Day theme this enewsletter, we thought you'd enjoy the graphic of a crowd assembled at the first Earth Day in 1970.  Project Apis m. (PAm) was provided the opportunity to speak freely with representatives from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) about how USDA agencies (ARS, NIFA and NRCS) can promote and protect bee health.  This opportunity was made possible via a request from U.S. Senators Gillibrand, Boxer and Feinstein.  PAm emphasized the need for ARS to solve Varroa (develop varroacides and biocontrol methods and improved breeding stock), develop a better understanding of honey bee nutrition needs and challenges, and improve pesticide toxicity testing.  NIFA received high marks by PAm for the funding that has allowed for comprehensive programs like the formation of the Bee Informed Partnership that gives beekeepers practical help in their operations.  PAm has provided honey bee specific guidelines for NRCS habitat programs. 


Crimson Clover is in Bloom


Some people says it's not a very good bee plant.  Wrong!  

Click here.


PAm's Clover Mix, free to growers in CA and WA, is one-third Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum).  Beautiful!


Lyle Ups the Ante
Lyle Johnston

It started with Blue Diamond making a generous donation to PAm directed at developing objective diagnostics to better evaluate bee health during almond pollination.  Next, with thanks to Dan Cummings, Chairman Blue Diamond Growers, and Dave Phippen, co-owner of almond grower and processor, Travaille and Phippin, Inc, CoBank and American AgCredit matched Blue Diamond's funding.  The CoBank/AgCredit funding has been designated to fund research on new and innovative Varroa mite control measures.  We have distributed the proposal request widely - to those within our known bee research community and also scientists outside our usual institutions. Over a dozen very worthy proposals have been submitted to PAm, totaling over $525,000.  To help fund as many of the most promising studies possible, beekeeper and bee broker Lyle Johnston, Johnston Honey Farms, has initiated the effort to now have bee brokers match the CoBank/AgCredit funding by contributing $60,000 toward funding more of the submitted Varroa research.  "It's still all about Varroa.  You've got to control Varroa or you don't have bees", he insists.  Lyle has challenged other bee brokers to contribute the remaining $40,000 to meet that match.  If you are a bee broker and can help toward this effort, contact  PAm wants NO party for Varroa when it has its 30-year anniversary in the U.S. in 2017.  



A Bee's Eye View


Bee's Eye View


The Word From Wardell

Ever since the first Earth Day, the day has been a time to reflect on our fragile global ecosystem.  In the United States, ecological awareness has brought us a safer environment than we experienced 45 years ago.  Cleaner water, safer air to breathe, and less exposure to hazardous chemicals have all contributed to a healthier environment resulting in greater longevity and a better quality of life.  While humans are living longer, the same can't be said for honey bees.  Ask any commercial beekeeper "are bees better off today than they were 45 years ago?"   The resounding answer you will get is "heck no". In the 70's, beekeepers experienced spray damage and American and European Foulbroods, but in general the problems were nothing like beekeepers are experiencing today.  A multitude of stressors are coming together to challenge bees like never before.  Varroa mites, Nosema, pesticides, migratory and nutritional stress all add up to a lethal combination for bees.  As stewards of the environment and stewards of the bees one would wonder what could be done to help the bees?  Project Apis m. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting research that addresses bee-specific issues and getting research results to beekeepers and growers in a timely fashion so they can make sound management decisions. This is working well but we can't support young scientists and top notch researchers to undertake this work without your support.  Every one of your dollars makes a difference.  Bee nutrition through natural forage is the one element where everyone can make a difference.  Donate '$45 for Forage' (see And whether it is a planter box on an apartment balcony or a 2,500 acre farm, you too can plant flowers for the bees.  I guarantee when you see the blooms and the bees on the blossoms, you will smile and know you have done something beneficial for the Earth!


Dr. Gordon Wardell

Chairman, Project Apis m.


In This Issue:
Learn more from these Links:
"Bee Box" 
$45 for Forage
Buy an acre of bee forage & see YOUR name here next month!!

Thank You Recent Supporters!
Stanley Anderson
Dutch Gold Honey
EN-R-G Foods/Honey Stinger
Heitkam's Honey Bees
Johnston Honey Farms
John P. McWilliams
Syngenta Crop Protection
Antonio Bell

In Memory of:
Ruth Hargreaves donated in memory of Hal H. Hargreaves

Your Bee Forage Images
Mike Vereschagin 1

Mike Vereschagin 2

Stan Anderson

Campbell Soup
Bob Doyle
Carl Kruppa

Can EPA Save the Earth... And Bees?

Randy Oliver shares his observations and concerns based upon recent discussions with EPA, registrants, and growers. 

Randy Oliver-EPA & Pesticides



NASS Honey Report 2014

Honey production and colony counts UP in the US!


Read the NASS Honey Report  here.


April Bee Husbandry
- Requeen, maintaining genetic quality to meet your objectives.
- Select stocks that are productive and disease & pest resistant.
- Encourage high drone densities during mating season to provide well-mated queens and genetically diverse crops.
- Discourage stocks that are excessively defensive.
- Control swarming by making nucs and/or splits.
- Check hives for pests and diseases.  Early detection is key!
- Use diagnostic services for objective colony assessment.
- Follow regional guidelines for action thresholds for Varroa and Nosema control.

Earth Day images are courtesy of Google Images.


Project Apis m. | |
6775 Chardonnay Rd
Paso Robles, CA 93446

Project Apis m. is a 501 (c) (5) non-profit organization.