Yesterday, I picked up a bunch of stink bugs around the house and delivered them to my fish in the pond. I then went over to check on my bees...WRONG DECISION!!!!! I have worked in the bug industry forever and I found out only yesterday that stink bug warning pheromone solicits a sting response from honeybees. Bam!
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With the swirling news stories about the recent incident in South Carolina of a pesticide bee kill while trying to control the Zika mosquito, we thought it prudent to update NC beekeepers over this past holiday weekend about the current activities concerning the same issues: Click here to see the online news article.
In short, there are currently no immediate plans to initiate spray programs on a state-wide scale in NC. That said, there are many individuals, private citizens, who are paying commercial companies to treat their property. It is these ongoing treatments that can have enormous impact on backyard beekeepers and native bee populations. Communication is key, and we all need to do our part. This begins by educating ourselves about all aspects of this important issue, and requires that we notify our neighbors and public officials about apiaries and spraying. This article should give context and helpful links for anyone to be able to do just that.
Please disseminate to anyone else who you think may be interested. Please also note that there was since an erroneous FaceBook post that went viral citing a (very) old legacy web page from NCSU written by John Ambrose following hurricane Fran and the state-wide mosquito spraying that ensued. That information is clearly not current, nor did it even refer to the eventuality of spraying, but it has nonetheless been wiped from the CALS archives. It is unfortunate that this caused much confusion, particularly after the updated link above, but if there is a silver lining it has prompted many beekeepers to take advantage of registering their apiary locations with the NCDA&CS.
David R. Tarpy
Professor and Extension Apiculturist
Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology
Campus Box 7613
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7613
TEL: (919) 515-1660
FAX: (919) 515-7746
LAB: (919) 513-7702
James Wilkes, Appalachian State University professor and developer of Hive Tracks, provided the below link to encourage beekeepers to take part in a Bee Informed National Management Survey for 2015-2016 survey that tracks bee losses...
Greg Fariss, regional Apiary Inspector for Ashe County provided the below link with useful information on the control of Varroa mites.
In the guide, it is recommended that all beekeepers remain vigilant to detect high Varroa mite levels and be prepared to take timely action in order to reduce mite loads. Effective mite control will reduce colony losses and avoid potential spread of infectious disease among colonies.
* For those who were unable to attend the August meeting of the ACBA where Joy Lewis gave an informative presentation regarding the use of different essential oils - both for your bees and for yourself - the below, downloadable files are copies of the handout materials which Joy shared and also encouraged widespread dissemination for beekeepers in Ashe County and beyond!
* Here is a Facebook posting also from Joy with a web link for a resource she recommends...
Open the below op-ed article from the New York Times for another interesting take concerning the health and vitality of bees...