Miss Apis Mellifera sums up ‘poisonous honey’


Some honey can make you sick. Some nectars can kill your bees. Don’t worry. The “poisonous honey” is not likely to be on your grocery self, and it is very unlikely to be in the jars of stuff you took from your apiary this summer. For us East Tennesseans, however, the poisonous nectar is notContinue reading “Miss Apis Mellifera sums up ‘poisonous honey’”

Many beehive viruses introduced by varroa, researcher says


Many of the viruses now being discovered in beehives are introduced by the varroa destructor, according to Philip Moore, a bee researcher at the University of Tennessee. Moore spoke to the November meeting of the Blount County Beekeepers Association on Nov. 10 on emerging trends in honeybee health. The picture he painted is not a prettyContinue reading “Many beehive viruses introduced by varroa, researcher says”

Beekeeping involves year-around planning, BCBA told


Good beekeeping involves planning for two or three seasons ahead, according to Michael Wilson, a bee researcher at the University of Tennessee. Wilson spoke to the November meeting of the Blount County Beekeepers Association on Nov. 10 on “overwintering” and said that any plans a beekeeper has for overwintering bees should start in the springContinue reading “Beekeeping involves year-around planning, BCBA told”

Researchers in Australia working on self-pollinating almonds


One of the things I tell people who ask about bees is that in this country, bees pollinate 100 percent of the almonds we grow. And almonds, I add with only a slight flourish in my tone, are California’s number one agricultural export. It won’t happen anytime soon, but one of these days, I mayContinue reading “Researchers in Australia working on self-pollinating almonds”

How a swarm decides: An NPR story on the democratic nature of honeybees


Thomas Seeley’s book, Honeybee Democracy, describes all sorts of fascinating behaviors of honeybees. None of those behaviors is more interesting than how a swarm of bees chooses a place to live. Here are the basics: Scout bees — older, more experienced bees — leave the swarm to look for a good location. The bees thatContinue reading “How a swarm decides: An NPR story on the democratic nature of honeybees”

Beekeepers are using Russian bees to fight varroa


One of the developing non-chemical methods to fight varroa is to use Russian bees and to acquire Russian queens. That’s what Tom Conlon, a beekeeper in Massachusetts and a member of the Russian Honey Bee Breeders Association, is doing. A recent article in a local Massachusetts newspaper about him says: As a member of theContinue reading “Beekeepers are using Russian bees to fight varroa”

Feds’ pollinator report delayed until after Christmas


If you were looking forward to sitting by the open fire on Christmas Eve and the reading the report on how to save pollinators that President Obama mandated in June, forget it. The White House has announced that the report will be delayed until after the holidays, according to Greenwire, a service of EENews. TheContinue reading “Feds’ pollinator report delayed until after Christmas”

Bittman’s rules for eating – there are only two


Bittman’s at it again. Mark Bittman, a food writer for the New York Times, wants to change the way you eat. He wants to change the entire food system, too. The way we produce, distribute and consume food. But that’s impossible, so he’s having to content himself with telling us how we should eat, whatContinue reading “Bittman’s rules for eating – there are only two”

EPA pushes decision on neonicotinoids to 2016, maybe 2017


Well, you can’t accuse the Environmental Protection Agency of making a snap decision. The EPA announced that a recommendation on the use of neonics won’t come until at least 2016 — and maybe 2017. That’s the good news, I suppose. The earlier project was 2018. Jim Jones, the agency’s head of its chemical safety andContinue reading “EPA pushes decision on neonicotinoids to 2016, maybe 2017”

EarthJustice.org claims victory in gaining EPA coal ash regulations


EarthJustice.org, one of the nation’s largest environmental protection law firms, is claiming victory in its fight to regulate coal ash dumping. Here’s part of a recent announcement: For nearly 6 years, we have pressured the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the White House and our elected officials to protect thousands of communities and millions of AmericansContinue reading “EarthJustice.org claims victory in gaining EPA coal ash regulations”