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In September, Biosecurity New Zealand abandoned its Research by Jennifer flowers still attracted moreHopwood (University of bees than verges without
efforts to stop the spread of varroa by controls on beehive Kansas) suggests that road native plants. The width of
movements. It will now concentrate on research into the verges could act as nature the verge appeared to
mite and looking at ways to help beekeepers live with the reserves, especially for make no difference and the
pest. native bees. When a verge volume of traffic (and
Widespread colony infestations have been found in North was planted with native potential deaths on
Canterbury affecting 17 beekeeping operations and it has species, there were twice as windscreens) did not affect
been decided that it is not feasible to try to eradicate the many bees present in total the number of bees.
varroa mite. The spread has been too wide and there are and almost 50% more bee People are being
no significant geographical features to discourage bees species found compared encouraged to plant native
from flying long distances. with verges covered in flowers on waste or unused
non-native grasses. land. There are over 10
The only way to eradicate varroa would be to kill all the She found that it appeared million acres of roadside
bees which would mean no fruit for two seasons because to be the native flowers verges in the USA which
of pollination failure. Even if all managed colonies were that attracted the bees as could be very valuable in
destroyed, it would be almost impossible to find and those with native species providing an interconnected
eliminate all the feral bee populations. as well as many exotic habitat for native bees.
It is hoped that an organic treatment for varroa will be
available by autumn 2009. NEW GREEN BIOPESTICIDE
The boom in organic foods safe for humans, animals
Leave them Room is creating a demand for and the environment. The
natural insecticides and biopesticide helps combatIn his pollen-trap work in for a place to unload, the
herbicides for use on a number of diseases
almonds, Frank Eischen has colony will collect 'organic' crops. A new including powdery mildew,
found that a main significantly less pollen. ‘green’ biopesticide has grey mould and bacterial
determinant of how much Less pollen collected been developed using an blight.
pollen a colony collects is translates into less brood extract of giant knotweed The product will be
the readily available storage reared. Thus a colony in the (Polygonum sachalinense). available in the USA in
space in the hive. If strongest 25% in the apiary The plant extract is claimed October.
returning bees (or those at the start of the almond
putting the pollen into bloom could end up in the NEW WAY TO BUY BEE-BOOKS
storage cells) have to bottom 25% several weeks
spend a lot of time looking afterwards. C Arden (Bookseller) launched their new website at the end
of September 2008. Their bee and beekeeping books can
now be searched easily and, if you wish, orders can beContinued Efforts to keep Apis cerana out of
placed securely online. They are currently listing aroundAustralia
350 books and a ‘wants’ page allows book-searchers to let
them know if they are looking for a specific title.It would appear that colonies of Apis cerana have become
established in the far north of Australia. Two of the three Interest in bee and beekeeping books continues to bequite high so they are always interested in purchasing
colonies identified recently were close to the central books. They do travel to view or, if numbers are small and
business district in Cairns, Queensland. it’s practical, they are happy to look at books in their shop
Australia is now the only major honey-producing country in or arrange for collection.
the world that is free of varroa and the Asian honey bee Arden will continue to display all of these books in their
operations department of the State Department of Primary shop and produce further catalogues. They are open seven
Industries will continue to try to eradicate Apis cerana days a week from Easter to December. At other times it is
colonies. advisable to telephone before setting out to visit (see
Classified Advertisements on page 30 for details).
Queensland is the first state to use a new technique for
identifying feral colonies. Bee-eating birds are tracked to 25:50:25
their nightly roosting sites and pellets they regurgitate are Many beekeepers subscribe to Master Beekeeper Wade
collected on sheets. These are then inspected for bee Taylor’s thesis.
parts, including the wings which allow Apis cerana to be
identified. ‘No matter what you do, 50% of the colonies in an apiary
will be of good or average strength, 25% will be well below Apis cerana, the eastern honey bee, is the natural host of
average and 25% well above average. And if you move that
varroa but has developed mechanisms whereby it can top 25% to another location, it will soon revert to 25:50:25
co-exist with the mites and cope with an infestation. again.’
Bee Craft Digital November 2008 Page 29
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