This evening’s speaker, Bruce Rodriguez, is a passionate backyard beekeeper from Berks County where he currently manages 28 colonies. He became interested in catching honey bees even before he received a package he ordered in 2010 and has been so successful that to date he has not purchased more honey bees. Bruce will describe his traps, methods and experiences as well as the management required once the honey bees are secured. Much of a beekeeper success is built on honey bee management experience. Bruce is an experienced beekeeper and has been successful with trapping swarms and rescuing honey bees from cut-outs. His presentation will be interesting and helpful for anyone who has or never has performed this method of securing honey bees.
In addition, past Association President Mark Antunes will give a summary of the irradiation program he initiated that allows PA and regional beekeepers to sterilize their hive wooden ware or other contaminated equipment using gamma irradiation. The program goals are to provide a viable, sustainable and cost effective alternative to burning hive equipment to control AFB and to allow the safe use of contaminated or otherwise suspect supers, frames and honeycomb after treatment.
This gamma radiation treatment of wooden ware can provide your honey bees the cleanest, healthiest and safest equipment and environment in which to live and prosper.
The Varroa destructor mite continues to be the biggest driver of colony losses. It’s easy to think that you don’t have varroa, as 70% to 80% of the mites are hidden beneath wax capping in the brood nest. Hidden out of sight, the varroa feed on developing bees when they are most vulnerable. To combat this beekeeper enemy #1, it is important that you understand as much as possible about them.
Dr. Kirstin Traynor (see more about her below), of Flickerwood Apiary in Maryland, is an avid beekeeper, scientist and author. In her presentation, Varroa Biology, Control and Virus Transmission, she will show detailed photos of varroa, highlight how varroa spread viruses, and how your colony can pick up mites from the neighborhood. To help stay on top of varroa, she will describe simple methods of monitoring varroa levels and how to control escalating infestations.
Additionally association members and seasoned beekeepers Dr. Vincent Aloyo and Mark Antunes will demonstrate how they make up nucs and splits.
More about Dr. Kirsten Traynor:
Fascinated with the social complexity of a honey bee hive, Kirsten earned her PhD in biology from Arizona State University. While a grad student, she spent almost a year in Avignon, France in the lab of Dr. Yves Le Conte as a Fulbright Fellow. She then investigated how pesticides impact honey bee health as a post doc at the University of Maryland in the lab of Dr. VanEngelsdorp. From 2015-2017 she edited Bee World, published by the International Bee Research Association. She edited American Bee Journal, a monthly magazine published since 1861 that is devoted to educating beekeepers. She recently has been a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, Germany.
Tonight’s live presentation will be “Honey Bee Biology” by Dr. Deborah Delaney. More information to come!!
This evening will also include a short informational session on liability insurance for your apiary from Farm and Family Insurance.