Florida Extension Beekeeping Newsletter
Apis--Apicultural Information and Issues (ISSN 0889-3764)
Volume 12, Number 5, May 1994
SCOTT YOCOM DIES
It is with a great deal of sadness and regret that I report
the death of Dr. Scott Yocom. Many of the readers of these pages
knew Scott well. He attended several beekeepers institutes held in
Florida and also gave presentations to many beekeeping associations
around the state. In recognition of his research efforts on both
tracheal and Varroa mites, he was presented the very first Florida
State Beekeeper Association's Researcher of the Year Award. He
recently was awarded his Ph.D. in Entomology for work on how mites
affect honey bees.
Beyond his activities with the beekeeping industry, Scott had
a broad range of interests. He was an accomplished artist, who
also helped the local community by being involved in establishing
the Art and Healing Program at Shands Hospital in Gainesville. He
served in many other capacities, including president of the
Graphics and Scientific Illustrators Association and vice-president
of the Gainesville Orchid Society.
As a graduate student in the Department of Entomology and
Nematology, Scott was deeply involved in the student organization,
ENSO. He helped this group in many ways, including raising money
by selling honey, planning trips and winning contests held under
the auspices of the Entomological Society of America.
During a memorial service for Scott in Gainesville, it was
emphasized that he was people oriented. It can truthfully be said
he touched many lives. I will certainly miss his optimistic,
energy-filled presence, and the Florida beekeeping industry will
also be poorer for his absence.
MORE ON FLUVALINATE
As I said in the January, 1994 APIS, Dr. Yaacov Lensky's
remarks on fluvalinate drew a varied response. Some suggested he,
and by extension I, was advocating unregistered and illegal use of
fluvalinate in the United States. This is not true, as clearly
stated in the March issue of this newsletter.
Others charged that Dr. Lensky had no data to back up his
controversial ideas. However, he was repeating much of what he,
along with Yossi Slabezki and Hani Gal, published in "The Effect of
Fluvalinate Application in Bee Colonies on Population Levels of
Varroa jacobsoni and Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.) and on Residues
in Honey and Wax," Bee Science, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 189-195, October
1991. In that paper, the authors conducted several experiments
with fluvalinate-soaked plywood inserts in Israel. They compared
colonies treated only six weeks versus those treated from six to
eight months, and measured the results in terms of subsequent bee
populations, honey production and fluvalinate residues in wax and
The authors stated that Varroa was effectively controlled
using both short- and long-term treatments, but there were more
mites left after the six-week period than in colonies treated
longer. Although there were no significant differences between
resultant populations treated by either treatment, those colonies
exposed to fluvalinate for a shorter time period generally made
more honey. No residues of fluvalinate in honey were found in
colonies treated six weeks, but for those in the six- to eight-
month window, the level exceeded 0.05 parts per million. In wax,
larger residues were detected in both treatments. The authors also
found that adequate mite control was achieved by placing inserts
either on the bottomboard or inside the brood nest. They,
therefore, recommended the former procedure because it avoids
inserts being in contact with wax and is less labor intensive.
The above results thus led to Dr. Lensky's statements
expressed in the January issue of this newsletter about placement
of inserts, and treatment with fluvalinate at too high levels for
too long. His overriding concern was possible effects of
fluvalinate buildup in a honey bee colony. As the authors
concluded in the above article: "The undesirable effects of long-
term treatment with fluvalinate clearly warn beekeepers who leave
fluvalinate inserts in hives longer than the recommended treatment
period. While a beekeeper may feel that extended treatment might
provide prolonged protection from Varroa mites, our data indicate
that it will result in reduced honey yields and honey and beeswax
contamination at levels above established tolerances."
HONEY BEES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION
Several recent discussions across the Internet (see subsequent
article on the information superhighway) about bee-collected
propolis and pollen have concluded that honey bees are excellent
samplers of their environment. This has both good and bad aspects
according to one of the pioneers in the field, Dr. Jerry
Bromenshenk, University of Montana. Here are his "take home"
messages concerning these insects as environmental monitors:
1. Honey bees serve as multi-media samplers that average the
concentrations of pollutants over time and throughout large spatial
areas. Bees sample contaminants in all forms - gaseous, liquid,
particulate - and can detect chemicals in their surroundings at
levels often difficult, if not impossible, to detect using more
conventional approaches - i.e., instrumentation.
2. Most of the contamination (at least as indicated by the
concentrations measured) ends up in the bees themselves and in
pollen. Some chemicals concentrate in wax, especially the
lipophilic ones. As a consequence, beekeepers should refrain from
letting bees collect and consume pollen in industrial areas, near
highways, chemical plants, or a local nuclear reactor.
3. Except for tritium or other special elements, levels of
contaminants in honey will be the same order of magnitude or lower
than those found in bees, pollen, and some wax samples. Even when
contaminated, therefore, honey is as good or better than most food
4. Propolis, like wax, can contain high levels of contaminants,
but levels often change dramatically from one date to the next,
much more than in bees or pollen.
5. Given the bees' affinity to filter contaminants out of the
environment and bring them back to the hive, putting untested
chemicals into hives (for example, to try to control mites) poses
a very serious risk of contamination for the hive and its products.
6. Beekeepers should take the attitude that monitoring
environmental contamination by their bees is a valuable new service
that they can provide. Public reception and support of this
concept has been good.
The demise of the Beekeepers Institute last year led to the
rise of a successful beekeeping seminar in Florida's panhandle.
The organizers are planning a longer event this year. The dates
are September 9 and 10. The program will begin around noon on
Friday and go through Saturday. Participant costs are estimated at
$45.00, $55.00 for those spending the night. The site is
Blackwater State Forest Training Center. Further information is
available from Bill Overman, President, Escarosa Beekeepers
Association, 9801 Lyman Dr., Pensacola, FL 32534, ph 904/478-7690.
The summer will see the traditional meeting of the Eastern
Apicultural Society in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, July 11-15. This
will include the annual short course with two tracks
(intermediate/beginning beekeeping and the business of keeping
bees). Individual cost is $410.00, including dues, registration,
room, meals, picnic and banquet). Registering for the short course
is $80.00. For more information, contact Joe Duffy, 309 Clivden
St., Glenside, PA 19038, ph 717/885-1681 or Maryann Frazier, Dept.
of Entomology, 501 ASI Bldg., University Park, PA 16802, ph
The 1994 Georgia Beekeeping Institute will meet June 17-18 at
Young Harris College in Young Harris, GA. Room rates are $16.00
per person per night and early bird (before June 3) registration is
$30.00 for two days. For more information, contact Mrs. Tracy
Coker, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Georgia,
Athens, GA 30602, ph 706/542-8954.
SLOW POLLEN BEES
Ooops! Alert readers of last month's APIS saw that the
hornfaced bee was reported to work at a frenetic pace: visiting 15
flowers per day. That should have been 15 flowers per minute!
DRIZZLE AND DAZZLE WITH HONEY
The National Honey Board has just released a new promotional
folder available in quantity to beekeepers who want to help their
customers. The three-color, eight-panel brochure is a collection
of quick and easy tips for adding honey to dressings, desserts,
drinks, sauces and spreads. Recipes vary from broiled bananas to
lemonade and Dijon tarragon sauce. The cover says it all: "It's
easy to drizzle, to dabble, to sizzle, to dazzle--use honey."
A free sample of this pamphlet is available from Make Magic in
Minutes, The National Honey Board, 421 21st Ave. #203, Longmont, CO
80501-1421, ph 800/553-7162. Multiple copies can be had for $0.15
THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY (INTERNET)
The Information Superhighway, sometimes called the Internet,
has recently been getting lots of press. And it is trying to get
up to speed, but still has a way to go. Like many roadways, it can
be full of narrow lanes under construction and care must be taken
that all communities are served. The APIS newsletter, available
electronically across the Internet, has been a pioneer publication
in this electronic delivery system. It is featured in the new
booklet, 51 Reasons: How We Use the Internet and What it Says
About the Information Superhighway. This publication will be
distributed by the publisher, FARNET, Inc., as part of a major
effort to familiarize elected officials about the educational
potential of the National Information Infrastructure (NII).
Dr. Jim Tew, Federal Extension Leader in Apiculture, in
association with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development
Center (OARDC) computing center, has recently set up a suite of
services on the Internet to help the beekeeping community keep up
with informational changes. An anonymous ftp (file transfer
protocol) center has been established at the host (sun1.oardc.ohio-
state.edu). On this computer, one can find an extensive list of
files which can be accessed by computer. Recently, the information
is being delivered on another provider called a "gopher."
For those knowledgeable about this system, the gopher bookmark is:
Name=Bees and Beekeeping
Information at the above host or site is found in the Bees and
Beekeeping menu under Agricultural Resources. As the announcement
for this service says, "Point your gopher client to
sun1.oardc.ohio-state.edu (port 70) and enjoy!"
An index and the last two years' worth of APIS are also
available at the above gopher under the topic, Bees and Beekeeping
newsletters. The Cooperative Extension Service publications at
this site and the APIS newsletters are full-text searchable. There
is an important caveat, however, as the announcement further
states: "Please be warned that this gopher server and its menus are
still 'under construction'. Please feel free to let us know
(firstname.lastname@example.org) if you like what you see, or
if you have suggestions for enhancements/improvements..."
A new beekeeping group has recently been added to the USENET
database which is also allied with the information superhighway.
It is called "sci.agriculture.beekeeping." This service is in the
process of adding frequently asked questions (FAQs) about
beekeeping and is also being monitored by the computerized
beekeeping bulletin board, WildBees BBS (dataline 209/826-8107),
run by Andy Nachbaur (Andy.Nachbaur@beenet.com on the Internet).
Finally, the BEE-L network (BEE-L@ALBNYVM1.BITNET), a version
of what is known as a LISTSERV on the superhighway, continues to be
frequented by apiculturists and others. A description of this
information resource, along with availability of other computer
programs, was published in July, 1993 in the paper, "Electronic
Delivery of Apicultural Information," BeeScience, Vol. 3, No. 1,
pp. 10-15, authored by myself, T.R. Fasulo and J.C. Medley here at
the University of Florida. I will gladly mail a reprint of this
paper to anyone upon request.
Malcolm T. Sanford
Bldg 970, Box 110620
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-0620
Phone (904) 392-1801, Ext. 143
BITNET Address: MTS@IFASGNV
INTERNET Address: MTS@GNV.IFAS.UFL.EDU