LSU Mite Survey
The Department of Agriculture Economics at Louisiana
State University is asking for your help in a study we are conducting
in cooperation with the USDA agriculture Research Service. This
study focuses on the options for controlling Varroa Mites and
Tracheal Mite in the beekeeping industry. As you may know, both
types of mites pose a serious threat to the future of the American
honey bee industry. Among other strategies for dealing with these
mites, scientists have been selecting for different traits in
bees or lines of bees that are resistant to or less susceptible
to both mite. From this survey we want to determine: 1) How much
economic damage has been caused by Varroa mites and Tracheal mites;
2) how beekeepers are dealing with Varroa mites ands tracheal
mites; and 3) the economic value to beekeepers of these new lines
of honey bee for dealing with Varroa mites and tracheal mites.
For these reasons, we ask you to help us get the word out to all
beekeepers about the on-line version of our survey and to complete
the survey your self. Please ask all interested beekeepers to
go to the survey website and complete the survey. The address
of the on–line survey is www.honeybeesurvey.com
If you do not have Internet access and would
like to participate with this survey, please call or drop me a
note and I will send you a hard copy of the survey and the mailing
address to reply.
315 Linden Terrace SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403-1822
May Beeyard Report
April came with a rush. I returned home from
a trip to Texas on April 2nd. I got to Adam’s house in Sully
about 9:30 in the evening. My intent was to tell him about the
trip. I walked in the house and he said, ”Go get back in
the truck. The package hauler will be here around 3:00 AM.”
The packages were a week early. I was totally shocked. As long
as I have been working bees, I have never had anything come early.
Adam came home with me and we took care of the preparations. We
got everything unloaded and I finally made it to bed around 5:00
AM. The first phone call was at 7:00 AM. I only had the packages
on the place for 2 ½ days but it felt like 2 ½ weeks.
Everything since then has been a blur.
I have prided myself the last few years on not
losing colonies to starvation. This year I suffered a blow to
my ego. I had around 25 colonies starve to death. Most of them
were in yards I had been to. I just misjudged them. The colonies
all felt heavy but it was brood, bees and pollen.
Every year we accumulate a number of frames that
are clogged with pollen. I used to render them out on the assumption
the bees would never clean them out. If we kept them on the outside
of the box, the bees kept packing more pollen into them. Dennis
Arp told me one time to put them in the middle of the upper brood
box and the bees would clean them out. I didn’t buy into
that. My thinking was that Arizona pollen was a lot drier than
ours. It wouldn’t pack as hard. Then I started to think
about all the holes the bees chewed in the boxes. If there was
a little daylight showing, sometimes they would create a new access
hole. Last year I decided to test the advice Dennis gave me. I
took some real heavy pollen frames and marked them. Then we installed
them in the center of the upper brood box. So far, the ones I
have found have been full of brood with very little pollen present.
We are now going to test it on a wider scale. I have five or six
boxes of pollen frames we are going to put back to see if they
get cleaned out.
We are deep into splitting now. Alex is helping
me. Things are going well but we can’t move fast enough.
The continuing rain has put a bit of a crimp into our schedule.
In an attempt to stay ahead of the bees, we have gone to the yards
that we aren’t going split soon and put on third story brood
boxes so the bees have somewhere to hang out. A lot of these boxes
will have brood in them before we get back. It makes splitting
harder because we have to shake the bees off nine frames instead
of three or four. Our last lot of queens won’t arrive until
May 5th. We have to take some precautions or we will be seeing
a lot of swarm cells.
We need to get our queen yard set up, also. We
have colonies designated for breeding stock. They will get hauled
home by the first of May. I hope to have the first of our own
queens by May 20th. Hope reigns eternal, doesn’t it.
Submitted by Phil Ebert