Note: This is a quote of an email I recently received. I'm posting it for our readers because I believe in it's goat to encourage young people to learn about beekeeping and hope you will too. -Tim
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The Apiary Inspectors of America and the USDA-ARS Beltsville Bee Research Laboratory are seeking your help in tabulating the winter losses that occurred over the winter of 2009-2010. This continues the AIA/USDA survey efforts from the past 3 years which has been important in quantifying the losses of honey bees for government, media, and researchers.
This year’s survey is faster, easier and does not require your time on the phone. It is all web based and automatic, just fill and click.
Please take a few moments to fill out our winter loss survey at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/beeloss0910
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Ok, so it’s not exactly new, but it’s new to me. I’ve been on the fence about getting a forklift for awhile, but I must say I’m happy I have it now. It makes moving around piles of equipment so much easier. It’s main purpose was to enable us to buy wood by the truckload (or partial truckload) for building more wooden ware than we could competitively before. So, we’ll soon be adding deep hive bodies and other new equipment as we’re able to keep up with the orders.
Of course I think my wife is beginning to wonder where it will stop… seems I can always justify something new by ‘It’s for the bees!’
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The 2008 Farm Bill (June 18, 2008) created a new Emergency Assistance program for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-Rased Fish (ELAP). According the the limited documentation on www.fsa.usda.gov you would need to buy in by September 16, 2008. Most of us would not be requried to pay any "buy-in" fees as we would fall in the "Limited Resource Producer" classification (Less than $100,000 in gross farm sales), though it’s unclear what needs to be done if you fall in such classification…
However….. there is no additional information at all on what the program covers, what documentation is required nor what the benifits may be.
So I wrote the USDA…. their official response after 3 months….
Until the regulations are published in the Federal Register for ELAP, all types of losses for which honey bee producers may be compensated for under ELAP will not be known. However, some of the possible losses that may be compensated for under ELAP are:1. purchased or harvested feed that was intended as feed for honey bees that was destroyed or lost because of an eligible adverse weather event;2. physical losses of honey bees/honey bee hives because of colony collapse disorder or eligible adverse weather events.Remember, these are just examples of losses that may or may not be compensated under ELAP. A forthcoming regulation in the Federal Register will provide final determinaitons.
So, in short.. nearly a year after the program was created, and long after any losses and required paperwork should have been submitted…. The USDA still does not know what the program covers, what is required to obtain coverage or make a claim, nor when they might actually have this information. I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise coming from a government agency.
The sad thing is, any producer who really needed the money to stay in business due to losses over the 2008-2009 winter will be out of business by the time they receive any money that could have helped them rebuild their apiaries this spring.
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The Maumee Valley Region will be holding it’s class on June 5th and 6th. It is a hands on class where you will learn both the theory of queen rearing and practical methods with a slant on rearing queens in Ohio. Cost of the class is $50 to members of the Ohio Beekeeping Association, otherwise the cost is $70 and includes a 1 year membership to the association.
Full details and a map to the location can be downloaded in this PDF – 2009 Queen Classes
If you have any questions or to reserve a spot call me at 419-371-1742 or email email@example.com
Note: Unlike last year, there is a fee to all individuals taking the class this year. This fee was set by the Ohio Queen Project and all of the money will be used to further the project and its goal of both teaching beekeepers to raise queens and to develop a breeding program in Ohio. All the regional coordinators are unpaid volunteers and donate their time, money and often supplies to teach and further the program.
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I hate to see old barns like this go, but there really is no salvaging it as a barn. I was already too far gone when we purchased the property nearly 12 years ago and would cost far more to fix the foundation, siding and roof than a new building. The foundation shift seems to have accelerated over the past couple years with the help of a groundhog. It’s ok for storing beekeeping equipment out of the weather but I can see the day coming soon when it will need to come down.
I’ve seen others sell similar barn for the siding, shingles and heavy beams. I certainly could use some of them in a new building and some great furnature for the house, but for the right price it would be worth parting with and just building with new material. Any takers? I know it won’t bring anywhere near the price of a new pole barn, but covering a down payment would be a start.
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There is nothing quite so wonderful and calming as walking by a tree in full bloom and listening to the tree literally humming with activity. This was the picture today (Thursday) as the pear trees were blooming today under a perfectly clear sky. Some trees were just starting to bloom, and others like the one pictured were in full bloom with dozens of bees working the flowers. I would have loved to just take a nap under the tree watching the bees instead of heading back inside to my day job….. perhaps one day…
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Finally…. The dandelions and pear trees have started blooming. A good sign that spring may finally be here to stay. You can see the large load of pollen this bee has already collected on her back legs.
April has generally been cold and wet seriously limiting the number of days that it’s been possible to do spring inspections, reverse hive bodies and make splits for mating nucs. While it’s only 55F right now, this weekend is suppose to be very warm so hopefully a lot of bee work can be caught up.
The picture below shows a few of the mating nucs that were setup last Friday. I ended up having to introduce virgins into the nucs because the cold weather earlier in the week didn’t allow for setting up nucs before the queens were to emerge from the cells. They were released from their cages yesterday and most were accepted. With some luck they may even make mating flights this weekend when it’s suppose to be up to 80F, if it doesn’t get too windy.
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