Several of us attended the Spring Meeting this past weekend in Rock Hill, South Carolina. As a joint meeting it was well attended with over 600 people from the Carolinas. The guest speakers came from all over, Jamie Ellis from the University of Florida, Gainsville, Bart Smith from the USDA/ARS Bee Lab in Beltsville, MD, and Sue Cobey from Washington State University, Pullman just to name a few.
There was much to learn over the course of a day and a half. Some of the topics included
- Honey bee health
- Genetic diversity
- How worker to drone interactions can improve drone quality
- The Carniolan honey bee
- Pesticide impacts on honey bees
- Recognition and treatment of diseases
- Africanized honey bees
- Rearing high quality queens
- Value of pesticides in beekeeping
- SHB management
Did you know?
- That one of the only ways to tell an Africanized honey bee from a European honey bee is to measure their wings. Africanized honey bee wings are shorter.
- That in commercial beekeeping there are only about 400-500 mother queens to produce 1.5 billion bees annually.
- That in the last 10 years there has been a 25% decline in genetic diversity in the US.
- From 2011-2012 the honey bee mortality rate was 25%.
- RNAi is a technology that is being developed as a treatment for Varroa Mites.
- Worker bees can improve the care and feeding of underdeveloped drones by performing a vibration signal.
- EPA testing for pesticide approval is based only on the “Active” ingredients in that pesticide.
- Africanized bees will nest anywhere, even in the ground.
- Up to 20% of store bought honey contains AFB spores. This is why you shouldn’t feed your bees honey from an unknown source.
- If you have a hard time visually telling the difference between a small hive beetle larvae and a wax moth larvae, try squishing it. SHB larvae are tougher whereas wax moth larvae are soft and easy to squish with your fingers.