January 2016 ABC Digest

mitesondrone_14-05-08_0053_cropYouth Scholarship Available for Attending 2016 EAS Meeting

We have been asked to forward the following information regarding and application for a youth scholarship to support cost associated with attending the 2016 EAS conference being held in Gallway, NJ.

The Mann Lake Scholarship was established to encourage a worthy young individual to pursue an interest in honey bees and beekeeping.  The Scholarship will provide financial assistance for the selected candidate to attend an annual EAS conference.  In addition to the waiver of registration fees by EAS for the short course and the main conference, the Scholarship will provide up to $1,000 to the successful candidate to offset other conference expenses.

This year the annual EAS conference is at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ, July 25 – 29.

You can access the application form for this scholarship from the following link:

Please contact Peggy McLaughlin (peggy@apidoro.com) with questions.

It’s Time to Sign Up for Your Beginning Beekeeping Class

If you or someone you know is interested in taking a beginning beekeeping class (aka  attending a “bee school”), now is the time to find one and to register.  Most beginning bee schools are taught in late winter to allow new beekeepers to prepare for the upcoming bee season.

Several bee schools are listed on the Maine State Beekeepers Association (MSBA) Web Site which you can access from the following link:

MSBA Bee School Listing

In addition to the many bee schools listed on the MSBA site, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) is also offering a short beginner’s course in Unity, Maine at their Common Ground Education Center. For information about fees and registration openings, please consult the MOFGA events page.

Some Winter Reading About Oxalic Acid Mite Treatment

At our January 2016 ABC meeting, we spoke briefly about the fact that the EPA recently registered oxalic acid for use as an anti-mite treatment in honey bee hives. You can read about that here:

EPA Registers New Miticide to Combat Varroa Mites in Bees

As you begin your research on OA as a miticide, you will probably have a lot of questions. One thing that you will see is that 100% OA is available as an inexpensive wood bleach and some beekeepers have been using this for years. It’s important to be aware that the OA you might purchase from a beekeeping supplier (like Brushy Mountain) will be SIGNIFICANTLY less concentrated. If you decide to go the OA route, be sure you know exactly how to proceed to keep yourself and your bees safe. For some great information about this, I’d recommend the article “OXALIC ACID: EFFECTIVE & EASY ON BEES, BUT . . .” by Jennifer Berry published March 2015 in Bee Culture Magazine.  You can access the article online from the Bee Culture website.

If you are interested in a longer (but still freely available) read, I’d recommend the following Doctoral dissertation:
An Investigation of Techniques for Using Oxalic Acid to Reduce Varroa Mite Populations in Honey Bee Colonies and Package Bees” by Nicholas Aliano in 2008.

Don’t let the fact that its a doctoral dissertation put you off. This thing is very readable and contains some real data. To dig into the part(s) that interest you the most, just scan the table of contents after downloading the pdf.

During our group discussion at the January ABC meeting, I mentioned that Randy Oliver (writer of the popular beekeeping web site “Scientific Beekeeping: Beekeeping Through the Eyes of a Biologist“) has posted at length about his use of oxalic acid in his hives.

Randy recently updated a Powerpoint presentation he created about the use of oxalic acid. You can access the file and read some interesting information regarding OA treatments from his ScientificBeekeeping website.

If you’ve never visited the Scientific Beekeeping site, I highly recommend it. Note that this is not an endorsement of everything on the site, but I will say that there is a lot of interesting information and discussion about honey bees on the site.

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