If you are a member and have anything that you feel is important to chemical free beekeeping, please email it to me. I will post it in this section in a future issue. Thank you. Dennis 

  Hello everyone,

 I think it is important for me to keep all of you in the loop about what our friends in England/Ireland are doing. I have posted some important emails for all of you to read. “Please” take the time to email “Kate” katec@canningfactory.com and let her know that you are a member of Lone Star Farms and that you support all of her efforts in the fight against chemical use. Let her know that she and everyone in her corner have friends here in the USA.     Dennis 

 Hi Philip, I have included Dennis in the loop from Texas and like us all anti chemical's he has just contacted Kate. He would probably give support and his complete confidentiality.

 Phil your invitation to do a Pod Caste! two days before the BBKA ADM I have applied to be a member of the Executive and of course this will be voted on. So there is no doubt that if I do your interview in which I will condemn all uses of hard chemicals and being in bed with chemical companies. This means it is unlikely I will not be accepted to the board. As you know some officers are masters at squirming out of everything. Gordon Brown our last PM was that type of person.

 Never the less I have to be true to my values and I have no problem in saying what there is in my heart and the truth and you know what they say about people that tell the truth are always in trouble well that's me.

Your article is very good and you have covered a lot of ground. Most American beekeepers are realizing that the chemical route is really not the way to go. Although I have been called a quack and other things for saying this far back in the early 1990's good luck with your cause and stay in touch.

 Kind wishes Michael Young--Ireland

Check this out Dennis, Kate is the torch carrier. Drop her a line of support. Michael Young--Ireland

 Hello Kate,

 I received your information from "Michael Young" who is also a member of the Lone Star Farms bee club/registry. Your plight for limiting chemical use is a shared one world wide. Since the late 1980's in the USA, the chemical company's have pushed there toxic products across our beekeeping industry and have weakened our bees to the point of decline.

In March of last year Lone Star Farms www.lonestarfarms.net decided to rally against all of the chemical company's and users. We (members) do not intentionally introduce chemicals into our hives. We teach how to use hygienic bee stock to overcome the dreaded bee mite and bee beetle pests. It has worked for us for years without any chemical use.

 I know that there are beekeepers in your area that do not use chemicals as well. We have members from your area listed on our members page. We would like too see more from your area join in this fight to "Save The Bees One Hive At A Time". Please visit our website for more information. Keep us posted on your journey and if we can help in any way, let us know. Thanks, Dennis Brown

Hello Dennis,

 Good to hear from you (thanks Michael) and thanks for your support.  I’ll circulate your info to our local association and to all the UKbeekeeping associations who are supporting our campaign to get the BBKA to stop endorsing pesticides. (small scream).  Please see attached a press release I’ve sent to the UKpress/TV to raise awareness of what the BBKA have been doing. 

 I expect you know the UKonline Beekeeping Forum & their pesticide threads? 

 If you’re not already, you should also be in contact with Graham White, a beekeeping environmental writer and activist in the Borders of Scotland, and Phil Chandler of Biobees who’s been lobbying the BBKA for some time now.  Am copying them in on my reply so consider yourselves introduced!

 Graham is in contact with Dr Henk Tenneke a Dutch toxicologist who’s discovered massive chemical contamination in parts of Hollandin ground water through the flora and fauna chain up to humans – from neonicotinoids.  So it must be here too.

 Will let you know how we get on.

Best wishes

Kate-- Twickenham and Thames Valley Beekeepers  katec@canningfactory.com=/a>

 Dear all - hope you’ve had a very good Christmas. 

Just thought a recap of what’s been happening, might help to clarify our minds before the January ADM (please see below notes below)

Best wishes for 2011.

Kate-- Twickenham and Thames Valley Beekeepers  katec@canningfactory.com=/a>

Hi Graham – good to speak just now and thanks for the Rubyiat link – wonderful artwork.  Will call =ill next week.

Please see attached email to Phil Nettleton at the Mail (shows the cumbersome long form info) who expressed interest on the phone – relating to bee health.

Circulated the precise below just before Christmas (having also sent the long form) to news/press.  Sky News =re looking at it and Geoffrey Lean, environment editor of the Telegraph =mailed thanks and to say ‘that looks really interesting’.  Chris Benfield of the Yorkshire Post is hoping to attend the ADM. Nothing may some of it but it may help bring further pressure on the executive.

In addition we’ve just received our January Bee craft (see attached 2 jpegs) in which MS spells out in detail how the BBKA will withdraw from pesticide endorsement.  To me =hat’s fine as far as it goes.  However, Bee craft is not the official news organ of the BBKA & it looks like this has been rushed out in response to Bernie’s report & our circulated replies to both the executive summary and the executive proposition – to reach the party in time for the ADM. 

Over the past 13 months, the BBKA have issued a number of contradictory statements both in the BBKA News, the press, at the ADM 2010 at the recent Forum and again on 16 Nov, declaring they were/weren’t/were/weren’t withdrawing…..etc.  How =o we know that this isn’t another PR bulletin?  Given their track record over the past few years, until it’s been clearly confirmed & written in to BBKA procedure, I am dubious.

Best,   Kate—Twickenham and Thames Valley Beekeepers  katec@canningfactory.com=/a>

_____________________________________________________________=_____________

 

UKBEEKEEPERS ARE “DIRTY BEEKEEPERS OF =st1:place w:st="on">EUROPE=/o:p>

BECAUSE THE BBKA CONTINUE TO ENDORSE PESTICIDES FOR MONEY

 

Since 2001 the =BKA have been endorsing four highly toxic insecticides manufactured by Bayer, =yngenta, BASF and Belchim.    For a total =f £17,500 a year, these companies can use the BBKA logo to advertise that the BBKA endorse their insecticides as “bee friendly”. But insecticides kill insects and bees are insects. These particular insecticides are listed =n the top five most toxic in their class.  Annually in the =st1:country-region u2_x003a_st="on" w:st="on">UKthe four endorsed products are sprayed on an area one and a half times the size of Wales. =hat adds up to a lot of dead bees.

 =/font>

In addition, Bayer is cheekily using the BBKA name to promote one of their newer products Biscaya, a neo-nicotiniodEurope and banned in some countries.  The BBKA say this insecticide is not =et endorsed by them so why is Bayer is allowed to use their same?

 =/font>

An eminent =st1:place w:st="on">UKbeekeeping lecturer says “When attending international beekeeping conferences, it’s embarrassing to hear us called the Dirty beekeepers of Europe.  Because of the massive bee deaths in Europeattributed to pesticides, many are angry at the BBKA’s continuing endorsement policy. Its reputation has been shattered by this”.  

 =/font>

Dr Bernie doeser, a West Cornwallbeekeeper with a chemical industry background, produced a research report in Autumn ’10 to examine =he effects of the 4 endorsed insecticides and check what the BBKA was doing =o ensure maximum bee safety, including clear guidance to spray contractors and farmers.  The report makes devastating reading for it repeatedly highlights the BBKA’s failure as the UK’s flagship charity to protect our bees.

Report is at http://tinyurl.com/bbkapestic=des

&nb=p;

We grass roots beekeepers have been steadily campaigning to shift the BBKA’s stance and on the 16th November 2010 the BBKA announced that it would withdraw from endorsement of the current 4 products as soon as is practically possible (see http://tinyurl.com/2v7wgqb). But they go on to say in an accompanying brief: ‘the BBKA executive want to be able to enter into agreements with suppliers of other insecticides in the future as well as =ith insecticide trade organisations.’  Which means business as usual.

 =/font>

Imagine if cancer Research UKhad taken money from tobacco companies to promote their cigarette brands. Please help bring this stupidity to the public’s attention.  If we =ant to have a future for our children, our bees deserve a greener better environment now.

 =/font>

 =/font>

For further =st1:personname u2:st="on">information please =ontact:

Kate Canning (Twickenham and Thames Valley Beekeepers) email: katec@canningfactory.com=/a>

Bernie Doeser (West Cornwall Beekeepers Association) email: bernie@doeser.org

 

 

 December 23, 2010
 

Dear Fellow Beekeeper ,

December 20, 2010
Seattle, WA

SeattleBusinessman Who Imported
 
Tainted Chinese Honey Sentenced

U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement News Release

SEATTLE- The former president of a Seattle-area import company was sentenced to one year plus one day in prison and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution after an investigation by agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) revealed he imported contaminated honey from China.

Chung Po Liu, 70, of Bellevue, Wash., pleaded guilty in August guilty to federal charges of entry of goods by means of false statements, and introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. At the conclusion of his prison sentence, Liu will also be required to serve six months of home detention as part of a one-year term of supervised release.
 
Liu was a corporate officer and former president of Rainier Cascade, an import company registered with the U.S.government, as well as the president of Evergreen Produce Inc., a business that sells and transports honey imported by Rainier Cascade. Over a three-year period starting in late 2005, Liu admitted to importing 22 shipments of honey from Changge Jixiang Bee Products Company Limited, a honey factory in Henan, China.
 
The ICE HSI investigation revealed that Liu purchased honey from Changge Jixiang and had it shipped to the Philippinesor Thailand. The honey was re-labeled there to make it appear it was a product from these countries.
 
When the honey arrived in the United States, Liu submitted documents to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) falsely claiming that the imported honey was produced in Thailandor the Philippines, when in fact it originated in China. In April 2008, federal authorities seized several of Liu's honey shipments at three locations, including the Port of Seattle, a Seattle warehouse and a honey processing plant in Sultan, Wash.
 
Subsequent tests by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined much of the honey was adulterated with the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin. This antibiotic, often found in Chinese honey, is an unsafe additive and is banned from the U.S.food supply.
 
According to the plea agreement, Liu admits that he avoided paying in excess of $2.9 million in anti-dumping duties over three years. The duty on Chinese honey was 183 percent in 2001 and was raised to 221 percent in 2007.
 
"In an attempt to avoid paying millions of dollars in anti-dumping import duties, the defendant not only misled the federal government, he knowingly deceived the American public by allowing shipments of tainted Chinese honey, which contained banned substances, to enter our nation's food supply," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Seattle. "Today's prison sentence is a fitting end to an investigation that required dedicated investigative work in Seattleand the collaboration of several countries half-way around the world. HSI will continue its efforts to deter this type of illegal activity in the future."

Liu is named, but not charged, in a parallel investigation in the Northern District of Illinois. An indictment in that case alleges that the German-based food conglomerate Alfred L. Wolff GmbH was among five other German and Chinese companies whose employees conspired to avoid paying more than $80 million in Chinese honey customs duties.
 
During the course of these HSI investigations, federal authorities have seized more than 3,200 drums of honey in Seattle, Tacoma, Wash., Minneapolisand the Chicagoarea.
 
ICE HSI was assisted in this investigation by the Port of Seattle Police Department, the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, CBP Office of Field Operations, and the ICE attache offices in Bangkok, Hong Kongand Manila. 

 

 

 December 13, 2010
Dear Fellow Beekeeper ,
 

Sleepless Honey Bees Miscommunicate,

Too, Research at the Universityof Texas

at AustinShows

AUSTIN, Texas—In the busy world of a honey bee hive, worker bees need their rest in order to best communicate the location of food to their hive mates, research from The University of Texas at Austinshows.

"When deprived of sleep, humans typically experience a diminished ability to perform a variety of tasks, including communicating as clearly or as precisely," said Dr. Barrett Klein, a former ecology, evolution and behavior graduate student at the university. "We found that sleep-deprived honey bees also experienced communication problems. They advertised the direction to a food site less precisely to their fellow bees."

For humans, imprecise communication can reduce efficiency, cost money, and in some cases, cost lives. For honey bees, Klein says it could affect their success in locating food, which could lead to a less competitive colony.

"While the importance of sleep has been studied in Drosophila flies for several years," said Dr. Ulrich Mueller, professor of biology and study coauthor, "Barrett's study is the first to address the function of sleep in a social insect in the context of its society, and the first to show that sleep deprivation impairs precision of communication in an insect."

The research was published in PNAS Early Edition this week.

There are various ways to poke and prod humans to force them to stay awake prior to measuring the effects of sleep deprivation. But how to make bees in a hive lose sleep?

Klein invented a magnetic machine aptly named the "insominator," a contraption he passed over quietly resting bees during the night to deprive them of sleep. The bees, outfitted with small metallic backpacks, were jostled into activity by magnets in the insominator, and this was repeated over the course of normal sleep time.

Barrett then recorded the behaviors of the sleepless bees and discovered they weren't able to communicate as well the direction of nectar-filled flower patches to their sisters through their usual waggle dance.

"The dance was not necessarily wrong, but it was less precise than dances performed by bees that were not sleep-deprived," says Klein. "We expect that a less precise dance would lead to fewer followers making it to the food source, and we hope to test this in the future."

Klein is a researcher at Universität Würzburg in Germany. His coauthors include Arno Klein from Columbia University, Margaret Wray and Thomas Seeley from Cornell University and Ulrich Mueller at The University of Texas at Austin.

 


EPA Asked to Pull Pesticide

Linked to Bee Kills

Beekeepers and environmentalists called on the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) December 8, to remove a pesticide linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), citing a leaked EPA memo that discloses a critically flawed scientific support study. The November 2nd memo identifies a core study underpinning the registration of the insecticide clothianidin as unsound after EPA quietly re-evaluated the pesticide just as it was getting ready to allow a further expansion of its use. Clothianidin (product name “Poncho”) has been widely used as a seed treatment on many of the country’s major crops for eight growing seasons under a “conditional registration” granted while EPA waited for Bayer Crop Science, the pesticide’s maker, to conduct a field study assessing the insecticide’s threat to bee colony health.

Bayer’s field study was the contingency on which clothianidin’s conditional registration was granted in 2003. As such, the groups are calling for an immediate stop-use order on the pesticide while the science is redone, and redesigned in partnership with practicing beekeepers. They claim that the initial field study guidelines, which the Bayer study failed to satisfy, were insufficiently rigorous to test whether or not clothianidin contributes to CCD in a real-world scenario: the field test evaluated the wrong crop, over an insufficient time period and with inadequate controls.

According to beekeeper Jeff Anderson, who has testified before EPA on the topic, “The Bayer study is fatally flawed. It was an open field study with control and test plots of about 2 acres each. Bees typically forage at least 2 miles out from the hive, so it is likely they didn’t ingest much of the treated crops. And corn, not canola, is the major pollen-producing crop that bees rely on for winter nutrition. This is a critical point because we see hive losses mainly after over-wintering, so there is something going on in these winter cycles. It’s as if they designed the study to avoid seeing clothianidin’s effects on hive health.”

Clothianidin is of the neonicotinoid family of systemic pesticides, which are taken up by a plant’s vascular system and expressed through pollen, nectar and gutation droplets from which bees then forage and drink. Scientists are concerned about the mix and cumulative effects of the multiple pesticides bees are exposed to in these ways. Neonicotinoids are of particular concern because they have cumulative, sublethal effects on insect pollinators that correspond to CCD symptoms – namely, neurobehavioral and immune system disruptions.

According to James Frazier, PhD., professor of entomology at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, “Among the neonicotinoids, clothianidin is among those most toxic for honey bees; and this combined with its systemic movement in plants has produced a troubling mix of scientific results pointing to its potential risk for honey bees through current agricultural practices. Our own research indicates that systemic pesticides occur in pollen and nectar in much greater quantities than has been previously thought, and that interactions among pesticides occurs often and should be of wide concern.” Dr. Frazier said that the most prudent course of action would be to take the pesticide off the market while the flawed study is being redone.

Clothianidin has been on the market since 2003. With a soil half-life of up to 19 years in heavy soils, and over a year in the lightest of soils, commercial beekeepers are concerned that even an immediate stop-use of clothianidin won’t save their livelihoods or hives in time.

“We are losing more than a third of our colonies each winter; but beekeepers are a stubborn, industrious bunch. We split hives, rebound as much as we can each summer, and then just take it on the chin – eat our losses. So even these big loss numbers understate the problem,” says 50-year beekeeper, David Hackenberg. “What folks need to understand is that the beekeeping industry, which is responsible for a third of the food we all eat, is at a critical threshold for economic reasons and reasons to do with bee population dynamics. Our bees are living for 30 days instead of 42, nursing bees are having to forage because there aren’t enough foragers and at a certain point a colony just doesn’t have the critical mass to keep going. The bees are at that point, and we are at that point. We are losing our livelihoods at a time when there just isn’t other work. Another winter of ‘more studies are needed’ so Bayer can keep their blockbuster products on the market and EPA can avoid a difficult decision, is unacceptable.”

Citing the imminent economic and environmental hazards posed by the continued use of clothianidin, the National Honey Bee Advisory Board, Beekeeping Federation, Beyond Pesticides, Pesticide Action Network, North Americaand Center for Biological Diversity are asking EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to exercise the Agency’s emergency powers to take the pesticide off the market.

“The environment has become the experiment and all of us – not just bees and beekeepers – have become the experimental subjects,” said Tom Theobald, a 35-year beekeeper. “In an apparent rush to get products to the market, chemicals have been routinely granted “conditional” registrations. Of 94 pesticide active ingredients released since 1997, 70% have been given conditional registrations, with unanswered questions of unknown magnitude. In the case of clothianidin those questions were huge. The EPA’s basic charge is “the prevention of unreasonable risk to man and the environment” and these practices hardly satisfy that obligation. We must do better, there is too much at stake.”

Distributed by: Coalition against BAYER Dangers (Germany)
www.CBGnetwork.org (in English)
Campaign on Neonicotinoids: www.cbgnetwork.org/3035.html
CBGnetwork@aol.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Coordination-gegen-BAYER-Gefahren-CBG/127538777294665
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please send an e-mail for receiving the English newsletter Keycode BAYER free of charge. German/Italian/French/Spanish newsletters also available.
 


New Product to Detect

Honey Adulteration

Polarmetrics' vIRtuous Analyzer utilized for Rapid Determination
of Adulteration Percentages in Honey and Maple Syrup


SUMMARY:The practice of “adulterating” honey or maple syrup for economic reasons has long been known and is a severe problem in the industry. Unscrupulous dealers will add a low cost syrup (cane, corn, beet, rice, tapioca or others) and resell this mixture as pure honey or maple syrup. This has a devastating economic effect on those that are distributing pure products as they will be at a price disadvantage compared to those that are distributing low cost mixtures and mislabeling the product as pure. Purchasers of these products can inadvertently believe they have received a good price on what they thought to be pure a product. Food manufacturers who purchase these ingredients can mistakenly label their product(s) as containing pure honey or maple syrup when in fact it may contain various other ingredients the consumer is not aware of nor desires to ingest.

An analytical technique that has proven to detect these adulterants is infrared spectroscopy. Unfortunately the calibration and mathematical techniques are quite complex to employ and have typically been beyond the scope of people in the industry to readily apply. Polarmetrics Corporation has developed a complete analyzer which as proven to detect adulterants accurately and timely. Advantages of this technique are:

• Requires less then 5 minutes to produce a result from any sample
• Requires no sample preparation
• Does not require expensive consumables (chemicals, gases, columns, and energy to
    operate the analyzer)
• The unit is pre-calibrated so users are not tasked with this complex process
• Software interface can be learned in a matter of minutes

Experimental
1. Numerous honey samples were adulterated with a variety of known adulterants at different percent levels to build a calibration database. This process was repeated for maple syrup with the exception that cane and corn syrups were modeled as the adulterants.
2. A drop of sample was placed on the temperature controlled sampling interface of the Polarmetrics vIRtuous infrared analyzer. All samples were evaluated in duplicate
3. Sophisticated mathematical treatments were applied to the data sets for calibration and verification.

Conclusion
The Polarmetrics Virtuous adulteration analyzer accurately, rapidly and easily measures the purity of honey along with the concentration of the adulterant syrup.

The user is not required to calibrate the unit nor burdened with the task of learning sophisticated algorithms or spectroscopy techniques. The unit is complete and can be used by anyone with only minutes of training. Distributors, blenders, food manufactures, testing labs and governmental bodies can now easily test for adulterations in honey and maple syrup deterring the illegal act of mislabeling and adulteration of these products.


Polarmetrics Corporation
3510 Parmenter St.
Middleton, WI53562
Tel.: 608.831.2360
www.polarmetrics-corp.com