October 2014 Minutes

Date: October 16, 2014
Location: Person County Office Building, Room 165

WELCOME. Mary opened the meeting and welcomed guest Frank Hayward who is joining PCBA tonight and expects to participate in Bee School 2015.

MINUTES: Minutes of September meeting were approved as distributed by e-mail.

STATE FAIR. Kim announced that PCBA won a blue ribbon for its 2015 booth. She shared lots of pictures, and thanked all nine Committee members for lots of hard work. Three folks, Kim, Mike and Bob worked a full day to set it up. Carol Carter printed all of the posters. Some individuals also, reportedly have won prizes for items in the booth.

MEMBERSHIP. Amanda urges everyone to join PCBA and NCSBA tonight or in November to get all NCSBA publications.

TREASURY: Amanda reported beginning balance of $3165.71, income of $666, expenses of $399.35, and ending bank balance of $3432.36 plus $50 cash.

FUNDRAISING.-HONEY RAFFLE. Mac reports that $430 in raffle ticket sales has been turned in.

ACTION.: Contact Mac Blanks at myb@charter.net to get raffle tickets to sell before the November 20 drawing.

ACTION: Folks who have agreed to donate honey, please bring it to the November meeting.

FUNDRAISING.-FALL SHIRTS/SWEATSHIRTS. Mac delivered second order of sweatshirts and several folks picked up and paid for items. Mac estimates that sales have resulted in $200 in profit.

BEE SCHOOL 2015. School begins on January 22 and is limited to 40 participants. Debbie Harrelson, in the Cooperative Extension office, is already getting requests. Todd will post flyers and send announcements to newspapers, Channel 10.

ACTION. Call Debbie Harrelson at 336-599-1195 to get your name on the list if you plan to take the class.

ACTION. Post flyers as soon as Todd forwards them to members!

COMMUNITY OUTREACH-AG FIELD DAY. Mary reported that about 500 school children participated. Mary, Bob, Amanda, Mac, and David represented PCBA at this event.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH-COUNTRY CHRISTMAS WITH SANTA: Mary shared a flyer about this event at the Savages on November 15, from 2 through light show, beginning at 5:30 pm. Everyone is invited. Admission is free (donations appreciated and PCBA will have a booth. Mac and Amanda will participate to sell raffle tickets. Insofar as State Fair booth materials can be retrieved, some may be used at this event.

ACTION Contact Lynn Wilson at wilsonls@esinc.net if you can help with PCBA booth … or come to a Country Christmas with Santa and light show!

PROGRAM. Todd introduced Hongmei Li-Byarlay for her presentation about Honeybee Behavior and Stress. Dr. Li-Byarlay is a postdoctoral associate of the US Army Research Lab, hosted by Dr. David Tarpy at NC State. She is also an adjunct research associate with Dr. Olav Rueppell at UNC-Greensboro. She took her first beekeeping class in 2010 as a Post-Doc at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and worked with Dr. Gene Robinson. Apiculture is important because bees are the single most important pollinator for US food crops and food security … and bee study also netted a Nobel Prize for Karl von Frisch who interpreted the honey bee’s waggle dance. Two important factors in behavioral studies are genetics and the environment. Her genetic studies focus on genes that control behavior. Previous studies of African honeybees showed that decreased brain metabolism is associated with aggression in honeybees. Older bees (foragers) and bees “alarmed” by the banana-scented pheromone are also more aggressive. Part 1/Research question: Is brain metabolic pathway involved in aggression? Which genes are involved? Materials and methods: Feed pathway inhibitors/toxins to inhibit energy metabolism in the brains of bees and evaluate by studying response to intruders (strange bees). Disturb colonies by dropping each frame once a day, feed the pathway inhibitors and then evaluate by intruder assays. Compare with the results of studies of fruit fly aggressive behavior (lunging at intruders). Answer: Yes, increased aggression is observed in both bees and flies when normal brain metabolism is inhibited. To introduce a second research question about stress and migrating bees, Dr. Li-Byarlay noted that lipids and proteins are the “bricks” of each cell membrane or “house.” Oxidative stress may result in “free radicals” (ROS or Reactive Oxygen Species) that damage proteins and lipids or even cause DNA mutations. Pre-mature aging may result from oxidative stress. Mild stress can lengthen life, but harsher stress can shorten life span. When bees are migrated from Carolina to California for almond population …or long distances in any direction… many stressors are introduced: increased parasitic transmission, the nutrition limits of monocultures, transportation on open, flatbed trucks. Previous studies showed that one effect of honeybee migration is reduced hypopharyngeal gland size. Part 2/Research question: Are bees in migration experiencing unusual stress? Design and methods: She studied stationary, migratory-limited and migratory-intensive colonies. The limited migration group was moved every 21 days; while the intensive-migratory group was driven 3 hours daily to 1 of 6 new locations. She used a paired design to sample bees. Marked bees returned to their own hives. Thorax of dead bees was used for analysis. Marking occurred twice for stationary and migratory hives: 7 days prior to the 2nd move, end of May 7 days prior to the 5th move, mid-July She measured colony demographics, survival rate, and oxidative stress products (protein carbonylation and lipid peroxide). Results: Migratory stress reduced life span by an average of 1 day’s difference (or about 5% of the expected lifespan of the honeybee), indicating a higher stress level. The number of bees surviving and the amount of sealed brood were not significantly different. In late summer, the migratory bees have MORE access to pollen than the stationary bees, so they have higher pollen storage. However, protein analyses showed a slightly different prospect, and indicated that stationary young bees experienced higher stress than migrating bees. Future researchers need to examine more replicates to understand the stress levels of migratory and stationary bees better.

Thanks to Mary Florence for this evening’s refreshments!

ACTION: Tim Harris plans to bring November refreshments.

ATTENDANCE SUMMARY: 21 members, 4 guests.

by Lynn S. Wilson
October 18, 2014

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