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The Caffinated Lives of Bees

Caffeine improves learning and memory in bees, as it does in people. Scientists know that. But, one might wonder, what do these laboratory findings mean in terms of the actual lives of bees? It’s not as if a flower meadow is sprinkled with coffee shops.

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Tools For Varroa Management

A Guide To Effective Varroa Sampling & Control

The Honey Bee Health Coalition has released a reference guide to help beekeepers sample and control varroa mite levels in their colonies.  Now that we are in the month of August, the traditional treatment month for Vermont beekeepers, the relase of this reference guide is very timely. 

Click Here to Download: Tools For Varroa Management

Food stressed larvae make poor adults

Inadequate access to pollen during larval development has lifelong consequences for honey bees, leading not only to smaller workers and shorter lifespans, but also to impaired performance and productivity later in life.

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Loss of Vermont hay fields limits food for bees

BETH GARBITELLI 12:13 a.m. EDT April 14, 2014

A slow change in agricultural practices is having an unintended consequence: limiting food for bees.

Since the 1980s, Vermont has lost more than 100,000 acres of hay fields that used to be full of bee friendly blooming alfalfa and clover. That means bees today aren’t finding as many flowering plants as they need to flourish. And while hay is still grown, it is often cut before it can bloom, making it more nutritious for cows but bad for bees.

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HopGuard II Approved For Use in Vermont

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture has received approval from the EPA for the sale and use of HopGuard II in Vermont.  HopGuard II offers a relatively benign method of varroa control that can be used throughout the beekeeping season, following the manufacturers recommendations and directions.

HopGuard II is a product produced by BetaTec Hop Products.

The national distributor of HopGuard II is Mann Lake Ltd.  Please visit their website to learn more or to place an order.

This video by BetaTec shows how HopGuard II is applied to a hive.  See Video


Studying Clover and Bees in Vermont

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:

Enhancing Nectar Production with Clover - Innovative Methods to Utilize Alsike and White Clover in Vermont Hay Fields

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