Given the chronic health problems facing honey bees and the increasing demand for pollination services from almond, blueberry, cranberry, apple, vine crops and many other growers, commercial beekeepers and breeders have requested assistance in maintaining healthy colonies. To this end, we began a novel “Bee Tech Transfer Team” program through the Bee Informed Partnership, a 5-year grant funded by USDA-NIFA. These teams consist of independent beekeepers that provide on-the-ground services to commercial beekeepers to assess and record colony health information; survey beekeepers about management; test for bee diseases and parasites; and assist in breeding bees that are more resistant to diseases and parasites. There is demand for this program nationwide and we are exploring ways to ensure that the Tech Team services are economically sustainable after the funding ends in 2016. As bees are directly or indirectly responsible for 35% of our diet through their pollination services, it is critical to increase effort to keep bees healthy and to provide hands-on assistance to the beleaguered beekeeping industry throughout the U.S.
Marla Spivak is a MacArthur Fellow and McKnight Distinguished Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota. She has bred a line of honey bees, the Minnesota Hygienic line, to defend themselves against diseases and parasitic mites. Current studies include the benefits of propolis to honey bees, and the effects of agricultural landscapes and pesticides on honey bee and native bee health.
Each webinar will focus on a crop of joint interest to Canadian and Latin American agriculture: greenhouse crops, pome fruits and oilseeds. The webinars will feature expert presentations that address our general state of knowledge and identify areas for future research, and provide an on-line discussion forum. Participation in each one-hour webinar is free of charge but pre-registration is encouraged.
For more information about webinar presenters or how to join, click on the webinar of interest:
When using a seed flow lubricant for planting corn or soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam or imidacloprid, only the Fluency Agent by Bayer CropScience is permitted to minimize the potential for abrasion that produces insecticidal seed dust. Talc and graphite are not permitted to be used as a seed flow lubricant for corn or soybean seed treated with these insecticides. Carefully follow the use directions provided with the Fluency Agent by Bayer CropScience.
Best Management Practices
Insect pollinators are vital to agricultural production and the environment. Many farmers, including those who grow corn and soybeans, use insecticide treated seed to protect their crop from insect pests. Some insecticides, such as neonicotinoids, are toxic to pollinators. Planting of treated seed can spread dust that contains insecticide into the air, placing pollinators at significant risk of exposure to toxic insecticides. Factors that impact the risk of exposure include the use of treated seed, type of planting equipment, planting conditions, flowering resources and bee yard locations.
The following Best Management Practices (BMPs) are provided to reduce the risk to bees and other insect pollinators from exposure to dust from treated seed. The BMPs provide a toolbox of options that should be used in combination wherever possible.
The Saskatchewan Beekeepers' Association, the Regina Bee Club, Saskatoon Bee Club and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture are pleased to offer the third annual 2 day beginning beekeepers courses in the Regina and Saskatoon area. . Come and enjoy this two day course which enables participants to experience both theory and practical field experience. Every one of all experience levels are welcome.
Refunds will be issued minus a $25 administration fee up until this date as well. A charge of $25 will be applied to NSF cheques. Please note that this workshop is limited to a maximum of 30 participants. Please bring a bee hat and veil, a bee suit and proper footwear, there will be hands-on instruction in the bee yard. Note: Please contact Jessica Morris if you need a bee hat and veil.