Monday, March 12, 2012

Two girls fatally injured in Africanized Bee Attack

Two young girls die from killer bee stings

COLOMONCAGUA, Honduras,-- Two young girls died in Honduras after they were attacked by a swarm of Africanized bees, officials said.
The bees had built a hive in an avocado tree behind a home in the village of San Antonio near Colomoncagua, Honduras, La Prensa reported Monday.
Africanized Honey Bee Nest aka Killer Bee Nest
Yerlin Anaim Yanes Sanchez, 6, and Dayli Carolina Yanez, 5, were killed in Wednesday night's attack. Another girl and her mother were hospitalized recovering from bee stings, La Prensa reported.
The bees were allegedly provoked when a boy threw a rock at the hive.

Read more here

Friday, March 2, 2012

Beekeepers feel the sting in Central Florida

Beekeepers feel the sting

Honeybees and their keepers are both facing threats.
The bees help make Florida one of the top-five honey producers in the country, with an annual worth of $13 million. But a strange phenomenon of disappearing bees has caused the honeybee population to decline, jeopardizing the livelihoods of commercial honey makers. One honey producer says he is losing thousands of hives a year because of the die-offs that recent studies link to insecticides.
"Bees don't want to make honey anymore," said Bill Rhodes, owner of Bill Rhodes Honey Co. in Umatilla. "I'm trying to keep from going bankrupt."
Beekeeper hobbyists, meanwhile, help fill some of the void created by large losses of bees. Their bees help the environment by pollinating gardens and groves, and the keepers get a little honey from their hobbies.
But some small-scale beekeepers are being told "not in my backyard." Several Florida counties and cities have banned or restricted beekeeping, and the Florida State Beekeepers Association is pushing for new legislation that would leave beekeeping to the expertise of the state.
Senate Bill 1132, sponsored by Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, would establish that the Florida Department of Agriculture has sole power to regulate beehives, and prevent counties and municipalities from enacting beekeeping laws. The bill has passed three committees and last week was placed on the calendar to be heard by the full Senate.
The bill primarily protects non-commercial beekeepers in residential areas, said Gary Ranker, president of the beekeepers association. He said 73 percent of the association's members are small-scale beekeepers who have a handful of hives in residential areas and are not trying to make a living at beekeeping.

read the rest of CHRIS GERBASI'S article at the Daily Commercial

Entomologist's Comment:

A well researched article by Chris Gerbasi that adequately explains some of the pressures both commercial and residential beekeepers are facing these days. 

While some commercial beekeepers are experiencing high mortality with their bee hives, many others are managing well. Yes, the numbers of colonies lost are higher than experienced a decade ago, but, with increased care and applied treatments to bee colonies, most seem to be weathering this recent malady well enough.

And while it seems to be in vogue these days to blame Colony Collapse Disorder on Nicitonoid pesticide use, current research is leading us away from these pesticides as likely culprits. Yes, they can cause mortality, but usually it's a very quick effect and emulates a more classic pesticide poisoning. Drupke's research implicates the current method of seed coatings and the way seeds are planted in fields, but only in acute toxic events, not in CCD.Changing the seed coating methodology will likely reduce the events that beekeepers have been seeing when placing bees near corn and other crop plantings.

Even the current boogey-corporations, Bayer & Monsanto, have been reaching out to the beekeeping industry, offering to investigate and perform research into effects of these insecticides. If you think about it, it makes no business sense to sell and promote products that cause great harm to beekeeping, as eventually research would show the effects & implicate the pesticide. 

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist
The Buzzkillers, LLC
800-343-5317 toll free