Talk on native pollinators at Merryspring, April 9 at 12:00 noon

Catch the Buzz on Native Bees

Bee
Local gardener and photographer Amy Campbell will lead a presentation on native bee species at Merryspring Nature Center on Tuesday, April 9 at 12:00 noon.Campbell’s talk, titled “Native Bees: A Magical Mystery Tour,” will use vibrant and colorful photos to introduce the audience to some of Maine’s important and indigenous bee species. Her presentation will also explain the difference between bees and other similar-looking buzzing insects, dispel rumors, and stress the necessity and benefits of attracting native bees to the backyard landscape.Campbell is a Maine Master Gardener, nature photographer, and honeybee keeper living in Rockport. Recently, she has completed a certificate program in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.

This talk is part of Merryspring ‘s 2013 Winter Talk Series, co-sponsored by The First and  Allen Insurance and Financial.  

Admission is free for Merryspring members, with a nominal fee of $5 for non-members.

 

showing of the movie “Backyard hive” 2/7/13

Presentation of the movie “The Backyard Hive” through the Adult Ed in Camden/ Rockport on Thursday Feb 7th at 5:30 at the High school.

I will bring an empty Top Bar Hive, plans, hive tools and books along.

Here is the link to register

The Backyard Hive DVD:

Run time (85 minutes) of this DVD is approximately an hour and a half and includes all the concepts from our old video with much more detail and instruction. We included step-by-step how-to sections on where to place your hive, how to find bees for your hive, how to install your bees, how to work in your hive and how to process your honey. We teach you how a beehive works together, how it’s organized, how to tell different kinds of comb apart and how to know if your hive is sick or queenless.

Chapters included in this DVD are:

1) Features of the Top Bar Hive

2) The Location of the Hive

3) Setting up Your Hive

4) Finding Bees for your Hive

5) How to Capture a Swarm

6) Introducing Bees into the Hive

7) About the Bee Colony

8) How the colony is Organized

9) Working with the Bees

10) Adventuring into the Hive

11) Single Comb Harvest

12) Processing Honey

13) Fall Preparations

14) Preparing your Hive for Winter

15) The Future

Especially helpful for the beginning beekeeper, but also full of information for beekeepers of any level. Alternative Beekeeping Using the Top Bar Hive and The Bee Guardian Methods includes beautiful cinematography from the Colorado mountains, where we have our own hives, showing hands-on techniques, close-up footage of hives, combs, cells and bees, footage from a bee workshop given by Corwin Bell and tons of practical tips and techniques that we’ve perfected over the years.

Here is the link to register

Eastern Apicultural Society Conference in VT August 13-17, 2012

This sounds like a great event to go to.  Not too far to travel from here.

Eastern Apicultural Conference in VT (click here for the beautiful flyer)

The Vermont Beekeepers Association is pleased to host the 2012 EAS Conference at University of Vermont, Burlington.

The Eastern Apicultural Society of North America, Inc. (EAS) is an international non-profit educational organization founded in 1955 for the promotion of bee culture, education of beekeepers, and excellence in bee research. EAS is the largest non-commercial beekeeping organization in the US and one of the largest in the world.

The annual EAS conference consists of lectures, workshops, vendor displays, short courses for beginning and advanced beekeepers. More than 400 people generally attend the conference each year.

A speaker who will be at the conference and of particular interest to Bee Guardians: Sam Comfort won six beehives in a poker game in 2002, then spent several years working in large-scale migratory pollination, honey production, and queen rearing.  Exploring a different route, Anarchy Apiaries now provides surplus honey, queens, and bees from about 400 rustic, treatment-free hives, a mix of Kenyan top bar, Warre, and Langstroth mostly in New York, Vermont, North Carolina, and Florida.  Sam freely shares a lot of tips, songs, why’s, how’s, and plenty of opinions for and against this approach, the state of the bee industry, and how co  mmunities can work together towards self-sufficiency in beekeeping.

The mission of Anarchy Apiaries is to bring the means of production back to the beekeeper, to make beekeeping feasible, simple, and affordable for all, and to facilitate the beekeeping network with more hives than televisions, because bees are ultimately about awareness.

Bee Hive Assembly and Community Building Day

Bee Hive Assembly and Community Building Day

Saturday March 31, 10-3PM

Merry Spring Nature Center in Camden Maine

 On Saturday, March 31st local sculptor and bee guardian Antje Roitzsch will lead a top-bar beehive assembly workshop. The workshop will last from 10AM to 3 PM and will be at Merry Spring Nature Center in Camden.  During this time, participants will be guided to assemble their own top-bar beehive. 

 Top bar beehives are excellent for people who are interested in becoming bee guardians. They are relatively easy to construct, inspect, and maintain. They provide the bees a more natural environment and give them a chance to build their own comb, assuring a space free of chemical traces. 

 Participants in the workshop will finish the day with their very own top-bar hives. Materials will be precut and prepared and provided in the cost of registration. However, those participating MUST provide their own hand tools. Electric drill/screw-drivers, tape-measure, pencils, safety goggles, and gloves are recommended.

 In addition to walking away from the presentation with a fully constructed top-bar beehive, participants will also obtain a wealth of information including how to obtain and care for bees. Like the bees themselves, the aim of the workshop is to build a community of bee-guardians that will work together to protect bees and ensure a healthier pollinator population in our local area.

 Due to the amount of work and space required in this presentation, attendance is limited to a maximum of 10 people. Pre-registration for this event is required. The cost of the workshop is $225. The cost includes the price of all prepared materials, instruction on how to assemble these golden mean proportioned top-bar hives, the know-how of how to obtain and propagate a productive colony of bees, and a resource of local bee enthusiasts and fellow bee guardians.  The standard price of a similar top-bar hive is around $350 plus shipping, so this workshop is quite a bargain.

 To pre-register, please contact Aimee at 763-3723 or aimee@midcoast.com. Due to the needed preparation of the materials beforehand, registration deadline is March 22 and the payment of $225 cash or check is required upon signing up. Attendance is limited to 10 participants.

 




Bee Hive Assembly and Community Building

On Saturday, March 31st we will lead a top-bar beehive assembly workshop. We are both excited to offer this very cool workshop. The workshop will last from 10AM to 3 PM and will be at Merry Spring Nature Center in Camden.  During this time, participants (like YOU) will be guided to assemble their own top-bar beehive. How awesome is that!

Top bar beehives are excellent for people who are interested in becoming bee guardians. They are relatively easy to construct, inspect, and maintain. They provide the bees a more natural environment and give them a chance to build their own comb, assuring a space free of chemical traces.

We are hoping that participants in the workshop will finish the day with their very own top-bar hives. Materials will be precut and prepared and provided in the cost of registration. However, those participating MUST provide their own hand tools. Electric drill/screw-drivers, tape-measure, pencils, safety goggles, and gloves are recommended. Check out our slide show page “Things that can go right” as one is being assembled on that page. It is partially completed, but will post more as it is built.

In addition to walking away from the presentation with a fully constructed top-bar beehive, participants will also obtain a wealth of information including how to obtain and care for bees.  Like the bees themselves, the aim of the workshop is to build a community of bee-guardians that will work together to protect bees and ensure a healthier pollinator population in our local area.

Due to the amount of work and space required in this presentation, attendance is limited to a maximum of 10 people. Pre-registration for this event is required. The cost of the workshop is $225. The cost includes the price of all prepared materials, instruction on how to assemble these golden mean proportioned top-bar hives, the know-how of how to obtain and propagate a productive colony of bees, and a resource of local bee enthusiasts and fellow bee guardians.  The standard price of a similar top-bar hive is around $350 plus shipping, so this workshop is quite a bargain.

To pre-register, please contact Aimee at 763-3723 or aimee@midcoast.com. Due to the needed preparation of the materials beforehand, registration deadline is March 22 and the payment of $225 cash or check is required upon signing up. Attendance is limited to 10 participants.

Next Radio Show on March 7 from 7-8pm, “The Bee Guardians”

The “Bee Guardians” will air on March 7 on WRFR.ORG  from 7-8pm with Aimee and Antje.  The topic this month will be on Top Bar hives.  We will share a poem about the queen bee and other interesting facts about the majesty of the hive.  We also have special permission to read from the book “The buzz about bees” by Jürgen Tautz.

For anyone who misses the show- it will be archived here on this blog.  See you next Wednesday :-)

Presentation on alternative beekeeping and top bar hives

Top Bar Hive

On February 29 we will hold a presentation through the Adult Ed in Camden ME from 5:30-8:30.

http://fivetowns.maineadulted.org/courses/course/alternative_beekeeping_22912

This presentation is for everyone who is concerned about the survival of the bees -and ours; is interested in bees, in bee keeping, in bee guardianship; has thought about keeping bees, or has never considered it. It might be just something that grabs you- as it did us.

We will show the movie “the Back Yard Hive”. This full length movie, shows in beautiful detail the system of using the Top Bar Hive and explains the bee guardianship.  It has easy to understand animations of what happens in a hive during the year.  This movie will take a little bit the mystery out of bee keeping and show that there is a place for a bee hive in every backyard and the importance of it.

In addition to the movie, we will show a top bar hive (without bees) and other equipment.  We will share some of our experiences in getting involved in bee guardianship.  There will also be time to answer/ ask questions.

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

This event looks interesting:

http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=tnjebhdab&oeidk=a07e5jnv6rzac93e482

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Unity, Maine
May 15, 2012
9:00 am – 4:00 pm EDT

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Community Ground Education Center

294 Crosby Brook Road
Unity, ME 04988

Pollinators are essential to our environment. The ecological service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of nearly 75 percent of the world’s flowering plants and is fundamental to agriculture and natural ecosystems. More than two-thirds of the world’s crop species are dependent on pollination, with an annual estimated value of $18 to $27 billion in the United States alone. Beyond agriculture, pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems, since their activities are ultimately responsible for the seeds and fruits that feed everything from songbirds to black bears. Conservation of pollinating insects is critically important to preserving both wider biodiversity, as well as agriculture……

SHORT COURSE TRAINING SKILLS AND OBJECTIVES

  • Ability to identify ways of increasing and enhancing pollinator diversity on the land
  • Knowledge of the current best management practices that minimize land-use impacts on pollinators
  • Ability to identify bees and distinguish them from other insects
  • Knowledge of the economics of insect-pollinated crops, and the effects of pollinator decline
  • Knowledge of the current Farm Bill pollinator conservation provisions and how to implement those provisions through USDA programs such as WHIP, EQIP, CSP, and CRP
  • Ability to assess pollinator habitat and to identify habitat deficiencies
  • Ability to make recommendations to farmers and land managers that conserve pollinators (including subjects such as roadside management, tillage, pesticide use, burning, grazing, and cover cropping)
  • Ability to design and implement habitat improvements, such as native plant restoration and nest site enhancements
  • Ability to incorporate pollinators into land-management or policy decisions….
  • go directly to the website and read all the info:  http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=tnjebhdab&oeidk=a07e5jnv6rzac93e482

Great to see Queen of the Sun again!

I just got back from a showing of the Queen of the Sun at the Union library.

I was so glad to  see the movie again and connect with other likeminded people.  It is such an educational film.  The pictures I am left with are the vast areas of Almond trees, the appalling practice of artificial insemination of the queen, the amazing effort of organic beekeepers to keep going and try to break the cycle of treating their hives with chemicals.  Did any of you see the movie?  What stayed with you?

As I am writing I have one window open to HOBOS live camera.  It is a research hive in Germany with several cameras in different locations.  The one I like is right in the hive.  The comb is visible on the right, the left side is partly covered by a bee sitting on the lens and a full view of several bees clustered together, sitting pretty still, just slightly moving their bodies- it looks like breathing.  And there is a buzzing going on.  Here is the Link. It is also listed on the “Link Page”.

For those of you who have seen the movie or would like to, here are links that might be helpful for further information.(all of them are also on the Link Page)  Christy Hemmenway gave a talk after the viewing. Here is her Link for Gold Star Honey Bees.  Spikenard Farm bee sanctuary was shown in the movie with Gunther Hauk.  He also wrote the book “Toward Saving the Honeybee”.  It talks about how the beekeeping practices, especially the commercial ones have stressed out the bee colonies to such an extend that they don’t have any more reserves to fight any invasions or disease.  Therefore he suggests to let the honeybees find their own natural rhythms again.

One of the questions after the movie brought up the concept of keeping bees just for the bees sake.  This is basically the concept oft the bee guardian- which we promote wholeheartedly. More info can be found on this website,  with suggestions of what plants will be beneficial for the bees year round.

Here again a reminder about our Presentation on February 29  through the Adult Ed in Camden ME from 5:30-8:30. Here is the  info to register.  http://fivetowns.maineadulted.org/courses/course/alternative_beekeeping_22912

Bee Well

Antje

Deadline Tuesday: Tell the EPA to reject the pesticide that’s killing bees

Deadline Tuesday: Tell the EPA to reject the pesticide that’s killing bees

(Here is the direct link to the petition: http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/epa_bees/?r=5535152&id=35258-1977911-UDi3hnx)

Since 2006, U.S. honey bee populations have been in precipitous decline, with some estimates suggesting losses as high as 30% per year.1 While that’s terrible, the problem is far greater than just the destruction of a species. Without bees, a big piece of our food supply is in serious danger. Pollination by honey bees is key in cultivating the crops that produce a full one-third of our food.

Scientists have been scrambling to understand the crisis — termed Colony Collapse Disorder — but have yet to find a single, definitive cause. There are likely multiple interacting causes, and mounting evidence suggests that one widely used class of pesticides may be a critical factor.

One such chemical, called clothianidin, is produced by the German corporation Bayer CropScience. It is used as a treatment on crop seeds, including corn and canola, and works by expressing itself in the plants’ pollen and nectar. Not coincidentally, these are some of honey bees’ favorite sources of food.

Clothianidin was approved by the EPA in 2010 – but now the EPA is reviewing this approval. The deadline to submit a comment is Tuesday and we need to urge federal administrators to cancel the approval of this dangerous chemical.

Tell the EPA: Revoke approval of the pesticide that’s wiping out honey bees. Submit a comment before the deadline on Tuesday.

Shockingly, no major independent study has verified the safety of this pesticide. While clothianidin has been used on corn — the largest crop in the U.S. — since 2003, it was officially approved by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 on the basis of a single study, conducted by Bayer. However, recently leaked documents show that the study was actually debunked by the agency’s own scientists, so the pesticide was effectively approved with no scientific backing.2

It is outrageous that the E.P.A. is putting a vital species, the livelihoods of farmers and beekeepers, and our very food supply at risk just so Bayer can peddle its pesticide.

Last year, CREDO delivered more than 200,000 petition signatures urging the EPA to ban clothianidin. Now that its approval is up for review, this is a crucial opportunity to protect bees.

Tell the EPA: Cancel the approval of clothianidin. Submit a comment now.

When clothianidin first came to market, there was little or no scientific review of its effect on the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allowed “conditional registration” in 2003 but requested additional study to establish the safety of the chemical. Bayer, the producer of the chemical, conducted one such study, and without public notice, the E.P.A. granted unconditional use in early 2010.

But leaked E.P.A. documents3 expose a more sordid story. Agency scientists who reviewed Bayer’s study determined that the evidence was by no means sound, and even downgraded the study to a level at which it should not have been allowed as the basis for an unconditional approval of the pesticide.

Additional independent studies have shown that neonicotinoid pesticides like clothianidin are highly toxic to honey bees, providing compelling evidence that they should be immediately taken off the market until the E.P.A. can conduct a full and valid scientific review.

This appears to be a case of the E.P.A. catering to the needs of a large chemical corporation at the expense of a lynchpin species in our ecosystem. France, Italy, Slovenia, and Germany — the home of Bayer — have already banned clothianidin.

The stakes are simply too high to continue the use of this chemical in the absence of any scientifically verified evidence that it is safe to use.

Tell the E.P.A. to immediately cancel its approval of clothianidin. Submit a comment before the Tuesday deadline.
1 secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder
2 www.grist.org/article/food-2010-12-10-leaked-documents-show-epa-allowed-bee-toxic-pesticide-
3 www.panna.org/sites/default/files/Memo_Nov2010_Clothianidin.pdf

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/epa_bees/?r=5535152&id=35258-1977911-UDi3hnx