Southwestern Ohio Beekeeper School

beekeeper_zoomThis year’s Southwestern Ohio Beekeeping School held at the Oasis Conference Center in Loveland, Ohio was very educational and entertaining experience. There were various seminars on every aspect of keeping bees as well as the numerous useful products derived from the hive.

The event was a sellout again this year with registration for 300 people being filled in just a couple of weeks of being announced. The popularity of beekeeping and the considerable notoriety given to the situation of honeybees has had a very noticeable impact on the hobby and industry. Our organization was very well represented with several members present and good fortune smiled upon some of those members with door prize winnings.

Beekeepers fear imports could have ill effects

beesThe Associated Press Atwater, California. – Beekeepers battling a mysterious ailment that led to the disappearance of millions of honeybees fear the sting of imported Australian bees that they worry could out compete their hives and might carry a deadly parasite unseen in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has allowed shipments of Australian bees to resume despite concerns by some of its own scientists.

Australia had been air freighting the insects across the pacific for four years to replace hives devastated by the perplexing colony collapse disorder. But six weeks ago the Australian government abruptly stopped the shipments, saying it could no longer be certain the hives were free of a smaller, aggressive bee that has infested areas near the Great Barrier Reef, U.S. officials said.

oreganoniceEarly this month, the USDA decided to permit the bee shipments to resume with some precautions, and the first planeloads arrived in San Francisco last Monday. beekeeper Ken Haff of Mandon, N.D., says he fears the foreign hives could kill off his apiary. “We’ve got enough problems with our own bee diseases that we don’t know how to treat, and they open the border to a whole new species that could carry God knows what,” said Haff, a vice president of the American Honey Producers Association. Shad Sullivan, a bee wholesaler in California’s Central Valley, said that in the four years he has imported bees from Australia, he has found the imports outlive domestic bees that have been weakened by pesticides, pests and diseases. “If the bees were truly carrying something that bad, I would have been the first to get it,” Sullivan said, “I just haven’t seen those kinds of devastation.”