Mark your calendars for a fine summer day with VBA in Bennington. The VBA Summer meeting will be held July 12, 2014 at the Grace Christian School. We are very excited to have researcher and author Tom Seeley as our guest speaker. Tom will be discussing "Honey Bees in the Wild" and "Swarm Intelligence in Honey Bees".
While winter is winding down, why not read one of Tom's books to get you thinking? Honeybee Democracy is available free from the VBA library by visiting here: http://www.vermontbeekeepers.org/members-only/library
VBA is working with the UVM Extension to promote the use of more pollinator plants that would enhance food resources for honeybees and other wild pollinators. As part of this initiative, the VBA would like to promote hay and pasture crops that are more ‘bee friendly’ without sacrificing forage quality that dairy and other livestock farmers are dependent upon. However, there is a need to conduct field trials on farms to actually determine the feasibility of various mixtures and management practices that would help the VBA meet these goals while dairy livestock farmers still meet their feed goals. Read more about the project here:
Going Sweetly Into Winter
Illustration by Adelaide Tyrol
As the landscape settles into winter, one of the things we notice (and likely enjoy) is the virtual absence of insects. As small, cold-blooded creatures, insects cannot stay active at low temperatures; they quickly chill, their metabolism stops, and they freeze to death.
To escape an icy demise, insects in northern latitudes employ many tactics for winter survival, such as overwintering as freeze-resistant eggs, or fortifying their bodies with natural antifreezes and hiding in protected crevices.
Not so the honeybee, a familiar, non-native insect that made its way to the Americas via settlers in 1622. Honeybees are native to Africa, and adhering to their warm-latitude origins, remain active all winter. Individually, they’d stand no chance against months of subfreezing weather, but as a collective, they’ve developed several extraordinary ways to survive in cold northern climes.
Our very own Mike Palmer was asked to speak at this year's National Honey Show in the UK. Below is an announcement from the Honey Show along with a link to one of Mike's talks.
The 2013 National Honey Show is now over and you can find the Full Results and the Cup Awards list on the website together with the slide shows for each day. These are available to download from DropBox to use in newsletters, websites and publicity purposes.
We recently submitted a final report for a two-year grant from the USDA and the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. The first year helped us to pay some of the cost for our members to attend the Eastern Apicultural Society annual conference held in Burlington in August of 2012. The second year enabled us to launch our Mobile Mentor program.
Below is commentary by Bill Mares through Vermont Public Radio.
Well, I may not have been a fly on the wall, but I was a figurative bee at the table, representing the Vermont Beekeepers Association. It was a round-table at Vermont Technical College to discuss their new Institute for Applied Agriculture and Food Systems - built upon a $3.4 million federal grant from the U.S. Labor Department to improve job opportunities in rural areas.