Tennessee Hobbyist Beekeepers Association August 2005 M -A

Tennessee Hobbyist Beekeepers Association
August 2005
The formic acid-based Mite-AwayII
treatment for Varroa and tracheal mites can
be obtained from several distributors including Dadant & Sons, Betterbee, B & B Honey
Farms, and Rossman Apiaries. NOD Apiary
Products LTD, the Canadian company that
manufactures Mite-AwayII posts information
on the use and efficacy of the product.
Outside daytime temperature highs
should be between 50 - 79ºF at the time of
application of formic acid. The Mite-AwayII
pads are left in place for 21 days so it is best
to determine what the average temperatures
will be during the time you intend to treat.
The pads should be removed from the hives
in the event of a heat wave (if daily temperature highs exceed 82ºF) within the first 7 days
of treatment. In addition to temperature,
colony strength needs consideration because
if it is low, the formic acid vapors may overwhelm the bees due to poor ventilation.
I have used formic acid for the past
three years following the guidelines developed by the New Zealand Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry (http://www.biosec u r i t y. g o v t . n z / p e s t s - d i s e a s e s / a n i m a l s / v a rroa/guidelines/formic-acid-guideline.htm).
The method of application is very similar to
that of Mite-AwayII. From my experience, it
is important not to apply the pads if elevated
temperatures are expected. If you do, it is a
good way to cause adult bee and brood mortality as well as interfere with queen performance. For middle Tennessee, I find the safest
time to be towards the end of September or
beginning of October. One problem in delaying treatment is that brood production is
winding down. If treatment affects existing
brood, the colony may not recover very well
by having additional brood cycles. Efficacies
against Varroa of greater than 90% have been
claimed for formic acid. The NOD web site
shows 80-90% efficacy with Mite-AwayII in
warm weather. Efficacy drops down to 20%
when applied to colonies on screen bottom
boards. Formic acid can cause some damage
to equipment it is corrosive to metals.
Metallic parts inside the hive, for example
nails, metal queen excluders, that come in
contact with the acid may corrode.
A second potential problem in delaying formic acid treatment until weather conditions are more favorable is the unchecked
expansion of Varro a . Many of the bees
emerging in early fall will contribute to the
overwintering population. Studies have
shown that wintering bee survival can be
reduced by exposure to Varroa.
If you want to treat when it may not
be desirable for formic acid, what options
There is always Apistan or
Checkmite+, but many beekeepers want to
avoid the use of these synthetic chemicals.
Mite resistance to the latter varroacides is a
growing problem and contamination of hive
products is another issue. The thymol-based
Api-Life VAR, like formic acid, is not a suitable choice for late summer application. ApiLife VAR works best when hives are broodless and should be applied when average
daily temperatures are between 59°F and
69°F. Avoid using when temperatures rise
above 90°F to prevent brood or bee mortality.
Use of Apilife at temperatures below 54°F
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Propolis…..bee glue, bee duct
tape, whatever you call that sticky stuff
that bees use to plug holes, it has some
very interesting properties. Propolis (from the Greek profor, in defense of, and polis, the city, refers to the defense
of the city or in this case, the hive. All beekeepers know
that it is a strongly adhesive, resinous substance, just try
and get it off of your gloves, hive tool, or coveralls! Honey
bees collect the resin from cracks in the bark of trees and
leaf buds. As the bees chew this material, they add salivary
gland secretions and then mix it with bee wax, and then
they use it to seal holes in their honeycombs, smooth out
walls, and protect their entrance against intruders. The
composition of propolis depends on its tree source, but in
general, it is about 50% resin, 30% wax and aromatic oils;
salivary gland secretions make up 10%, and then there is a
small amount of pollen (5%), and various other substances
(5%), including amino acids, minerals, ethanol, Vitamins
A, B complex, E, and bioflavonoids.
In this month’s issue, the focus of apitherapy is on
the possible medicinal uses of propolis. Given its ingredients, it should come as no surprise that propolis has antimicrobial activity. A study published in the Journal of
Ethnopharmacology by Sonmez and others described the
effect of propolis on periodontal disease-causing bacteria.
The authors used six different sources of propolis, and
found each to be effective against microorganisms that
cause gum disease. The downside of their study, was that
the propolis solutions also killed cells called fibroblasts, an
important component of the tissue around teeth. The
authors predict that propolis could have a future in this
field, if the appropriate dilutions can be worked out,
enough propolis to kill bacteria, but have no effect on those
fibroblasts. I wonder what Listerine does to fibroblasts????
Since propolis varies depending on its plant
source, it is difficult to compare different products. In the
The Bee
Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flowers goes,
Their Velvet masonry
Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.
same journal, a group from Bulgaria wrote an article about
the chemical diversity of propolis and the problems associated with attempts at standardizing propolis. It really isn’t
sufficient to talk about which tree yields the propolis; characterizing the amounts of chemicals such as flavone and
flavonol allows for more meaningful comparisons.
There are even differences in propolis based on
which race of honey bee is doing the manufacturing.
Again, our source of information on this topic comes from
the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Scientists from
Turkey studied the chemical properties and antibacterial
activity of three types of propolis collected from three different races of honey bee. The propolis made by the
Caucasian honey bee showed the highest antibacterial
activity. (author’s note: I collected a swarm once that
turned out to be Caucasian honey bees. In addition to
being incredibly gentle, they made a lot more propolis than
their Italian cousins).
Well if propolis kills fibroblasts, those important
cells in and around teeth (and all other organs also) could
propolis be used to kill unwanted cells, such as cancer
cells? A group of scientists from Japan showed that propolis inhibited the growth (in Petri dishes) of HL-60, a type
of human leukemia. Another group of Japanese scientists
showed that propolis decreased the growth of another type
of cancer (sarcoma) in mice.
Propolis may also have an effect on inflammation,
the basis of many acute and chronic diseases. Using an
animal model of arthritis, a group of Chinese scientists
showed that propolis reduced the amount of interleukin-6
an important mediator of inflammation.
So, what does all of this mean? It points to the fact
that the oooey, gooey, sticky icky honey bee product
propolis may have potential use in fighting some human
diseases. Just remember that when you are trying to get
that stuff off of your gloves!
Contributed by Jean Simpson
His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.
His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee’s experience
Of clovers and of noon!
Emily Dickinson
[Editor’s Note: Ms. Dickinson knew
poetry but did not know that bees
(workers) were girls.]
Answer: Varroa Mites Suppress Bee Immunity.
Most beekeepers are now aware that Varroa has a
direct link with viral problems of honey bees but the exact
mechanism by which this link operated has until recently
been unknown. Now, with the mite causing the dramatic
and sudden collapse of bee colonies across the country, Penn
State researchers believe they have found the combination
of factors that triggers colony deaths which includes suppression of the bee immune system by the mites.
While researchers know that the Varroa mite is
behind the death of bee colonies, the mechanism causing the
deaths is still unknown. Dr. Diana L. Cox-Foster, Penn
State professor of entomology, now believes that a combination of bee mites, deformed wing virus and bacteria is causing the problems occurring in hives across the country.
"Once one mite begins to feed on a developing bee,
all the subsequent mites will use the same feeding location,"
says Cox-Foster. " Yang has seen as many as 11 adult mites
feeding off of one bee. Other researchers have shown that
both harmful and harmless bacteria may infect the feeding
Deformed wing virus is endemic among honey bees
in the U.S.A, although when the European bees became historically infested with this virus, is unknown. However, simply having deformed wing virus does not cause bees to
emerge from the pupa state with deformed wings, nor does
it cause colony deaths.
"A group of Japanese researchers found that a virus
that is 99 percent the same as deformed wing, appears in the
brains of aggressive guard bees," says Cox-Foster. "Guard
bees that are aggressive better protect the hive, so there may
be some positive effect in this virus that allows it to persist
in a colony."
The combination of bee mite infestation and
deformed wing virus does cause deformed wings in about a
quarter of the emerging bees. This, however, does not lead
to sudden hive collapse. Something else is involved that
makes bee mites so harmful to bee colonies.
The Penn State researchers reported their findings
in the May 24 issue of the P roceedings of the National
Academy of Science, vol. 102, pg. 7470, 2005.
Yang and Cox-Foster looked at how bee mites affect
the bee immune system. They injected heat-killed E. coli
bacteria into virus-infected bees that were either infested
with bee mites or mite free. The dead bacteria were used to
trigger an immune response in the bees in the same way
human vaccines cause our bodies to produce an immune
response. They checked the bees for production of chemi-
cals that disinfect the honey and for other immunity related
They also measured the amount of virus (deformed
wing virus) in each bee. Surprisingly, they found that the
virus in mite-infested bees rapidly increased to extremely
high levels when the bee was exposed to the bacteria. The
virus levels in mite-free bees did not change when the bee
was injected with bacteria.
One chemical, GOX or glucose oxidase, is put into
the honey by worker bees and sterilizes the honey and all
their food. If bees have mites, their production of GOX
"As mites build up, we suspect that not as much
GOX is found in the honey and the honey has more bacteria," says Cox-Foster. "It is likely that the combination of
increased mite infestation, virus infection and bacteria is the
cause of the two-week death collapse of hives."
The mites suppressed other immune responses in
the bees, leaving the bees and the colonies more vulnerable
to infection. The bee mites transfer from adult bees to late
stage larva. The virus can be transferred through many different pathways.
"This system is important not only because of what
the mites are doing to honey bee populations in the U.S.A,
but because it can be used as a model system for exploring
what happens to viruses in animal or human populations,"
says Cox-Foster. "If we view the colony as a city, then we
have a variety of infection modes -- queen to eggs, workers
to food supply, bee to bee, and parasite to bee."
Source: Apis-UK, June, 2005, http://www.beedata.com/apisuk/newsletters05/apis-uk0605.htm
Multiple Transmission Routes for Bee Viruses In a companion study, Dr. Cox-Foster shows by sensitive molecular
biological techniques that Kashmir bee virus and sacbrood
virus can be transmitted throughout the colony by multiple
pathways. Virus was detected in queens and their eggs, suggesting that virus can be transmitted by a transovarial or vertical transmission route. Viruses were also detected in all
developmental stages of the bee and food sources (brood
food, honey, pollen and royal jelly) indicating horizontal
transmission of virus among adult bees and from adults to
brood. Virus presence was also demonstrated in mites and
their saliva, suggesting mites as another pathway for horizontal transmission.
Source: Journal of General Virology, vol. 86, pg. 2281,
Chimps Use Tools to Harvest Honey Scientists at the
Central Washington University carried out a 7-month study
that analyzed stick tools constructed by chimpanzees at the
Ngotto Forest site in Central African Republic. The chim
(continue on page 4)
Research Reviews (continued from page 3)
panzees were found to use tools to dip for ants and probe for
honey. Fifty-six individual honey probes were found at 12
different sites. The tools discovered were slender branches
obtained from nearby small trees, and were usually found
without leaves. The chimpanzees used honey tools to
remove wax and honey from the ground and log holes of
stingless bees. The tools, averaging approximately 23 inches in length, were found sticking out of the holes or lying
close by. Two examples of another tool were also found by
trees in which chimpanzees harvested honey from beehives
located in trees. This second type of tool, called a honey
hammer/club, was used to pound against the tree in order to
expose the beehive. The honey tools found in this study
shared similar features with honey tools described in earlier
studies at different sites.
Source: American Journal of Primatology, vol. 65, pg. 221,
The Sting of the Drone The highly defensive behavior of
Africanized bees is a dominant heritable trait. When
Africanized bees invade an area populated by European
bees, the number of drones of Africanized origin in drone
congregation areas can exceed 90%. If there are strong
paternal effects controlling defensive behavior of honey
bees, this could explain the rapid and stable conversion
(Africanization) of European colonies after invasion of
Africanized bees. A team of researchers that includes Greg
Hunt at Purdue University and Robert Page now at the
University of Arizona investigated the defensive behavior of
52 hybrid honey bee colonies compared to European and
Africanized bee colonies. The investigators recorded the
number of stings inflicted upon a moving leather patch during one minute. Hybrid colonies formed with Africanized
paternity (European queen x Africanized drones) deposited
as many stings as workers from Africanized colonies. The
defensive behavior of hybrid colonies of Africanized paternity was significantly greater than that of colonies with
European paternity (Africanized queen x European drones).
However, the latter hybrid colonies did display significantly
higher defensive behavior than that of pure European
colonies. One way to deal with defensive Africanized
colonies has been to introduce European queens. However,
as shown by the current studies it may be a better strategy to
saturate drone congregation areas with European drones
This could be implemented by providing queens of
European origin and to supply these colonies with comb
containing drone-size cells to augment the production of
European drones.
Source: Journal of Heredity, vol. 96, pg. 376, 2005
Male and Female Fire Ants - Are They Two Species?
Approximately 20% of known animal species are haploid-
diploid. Unfertilized eggs are haploid (harbor one-half the
complement of chromosomes) and develop into males
whereas fertilized eggs are diploid and develop into females.
Haplodiploidy is found in different groups of insects including Hymenoptera. In reproduction, the rule is that males
and females mix their genes in their offspring. Recent studies by investigators in France, Japan, and Switzerland have
discovered an exception to this rule in the little fire ant, a
species that is listed among the 100 worst invasive alien
species. Using genetic markers, they show that ‘gynes’
(future queens) are genetically identical to the reproducing
queen. The expectation in sexual reproduction is that onehalf of the genes in future queens are derived from the reproducing queen and the other half from the sperm. However,
the little fire ant has eliminated this pathway in the production of gynes but have maintained it in the production of
sterile workers. The researchers go on to show that males
have fought back by reproducing clonally as well. That is,
all males are genetically identical to the sperm. This is surprising because the expectation is that males should have
one-half the complement of chromosomes of the queen
(males come from unfertilized eggs). The result is that separate female and male lines are maintained (clonal reproduction) in the little fire ant, and only in sterile workers are male
and female genes combined. It remains to be determined
what importance the segregation of male and female genes
in the little fire ant, and the formation of two distinct genetic lineages have in colony function and evolution. Of interest, earlier studies have suggested that clonal reproduction
of males may occur in honey bees.
Source: Nature, vol. 435, pg 1230, 2005.
Flowering at the right time is critical to the reproductive success of plants. It has been known for years that
plants have developed some type of signaling network that
responds to various environmental conditions to determine
the appropriate time for flowering. Over the past fifty years
various observations suggested that flowering at the shoot
apex is stimulated by a factor produced in leaves. This factor was called “florigen”. Three new studies have now
uncovered the details of the molecular mechanisms regulating flowering. Leaves express a gene called CONSTANS
(CO), the activity of which oscillates in a circadian manner,
being highest at dusk. CO is stimulated by light and accumulates in its presence. The protein produced by CO causes activation of a second gene in the leaf called FT that produces a type of nucleic acid. FT nucleic acid is the messenger that moves up the stem to the shoot apex where it inter
(continued on page 6)
Honey of a record was not meant to
bee An Irish beekeeper wearing only
underwear and goggles fell 150,000
© 1994
Systems, Inc.
short of breaking the world record for
being covered with honey bees. Philip McCabe, 59, admitted defeat in County Tipperary after attracting only
200,000 of the insects to his " beard" in two hours, the BBC
said. The bees are counted by weight, and as a fundraising
event for beekeeping projects in developing countries,
McCabe stood on weigh scales as helpers funneled bees
onto his abdomen. They then headed for his chin, which he
had scented with the queen bee's pheromones. But after
two hours and no stings, McCabe's feet went numb, and he
climbed down. That's when seven bees stung, the report
said. He was philosophical about not breaking the 1998
U.S. record of 87.5 pounds, or 350,000 bees. "The bees we
have in Ireland, this native black bee, is different than the
one that holds the record," he said.
Source: UPI, June 27, 2005
Africanized honeybees found in Louisiana Nearly 30
years after a made-for-TV movie, "The Savage Bees",
showed the Superdome saving New Orleans from "killer
bees" during Mardi Gras, real Africanized honeybees have
made it to Louisiana. The state agriculture department
received confirmation from the USDA bee lab in Tucson,
Ariz., Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom said. The bees
in question were trapped in June near the Caddo Parish
town of Rodessa, about 35 miles northwest of Shreveport,
he said.
Louisiana beekeepers will have to have their swarms certified free of the strain to sell their bees, Odom said. "The
department's duty will be inspecting those operations and
certifying the colonies that don't contain any Africanized
honeybees," he said. In late 2001, they were found in
northeast Texas, about 35 miles west of Caddo Parish. Last
month, they were confirmed in Brightstar, Ark., 10 miles
north of Rodessa.
Source: AP, July, 27, 2005
Domestic bees blamed for man’s death Bees that
attacked and caused the of death of a 78-year-old Paris man
working in Northern Hopkins County are not Africanized,
Texas A& M University researchers say. “We got in test
results from the Texas A&M entomologist, and they’re just
European regular honey bees,” Hopkins County Texas
Cooperative Extension Agency Agriculture Agent Larry
Spradlin said. Charles Malone of Paris was attacked July
7 by the European honey bees while doing bulldozer work
at what is known as the old Dunham Ranch near Sulphur
Bluff. Hopkins County Justice of the Peace Ronny Glossup
pronounced Malone dead at the scene. Final autopsy
results are pending and may take several months, Glossup
said. Investigator Andy Chester said Malone hit a dead
tree, causing the bees to swarm. Malone was stung at least
20 times on the face and head, Chester said.
Source: The Paris News, Northeast Texas, July 14, 2005
New bottle sweetens relationship with honey They can
send a man to the moon. But in more than 500 centuries of
collecting honey, Homo sapiens have remained rather savage, from the hunter-gatherers who plundered hives and
killed the bees, to the commuting suburbanite who leaves
behind a table, jar, countertop and cupboard a little stickier
for the culinary adventure of eating the world's most timehonored simple sugar. Granja San Francisco honey has
ended our centuries of dwelling in the dark ages, by
improving on the upside-down hand lotion bottle design
just enough to keep honey on our whole-wheat toast and
off our table and fingers. It's a nipple. A nipple emerges
when you squeeze the upside-down bottle to drizzle the
honey over your fruit, and then neatly retracts when you
are done squeezing.
Source: The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY, July 22,
Topical Honey for Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Jennifer J. Eddy, MD, and Mark D. Gideonsen, MD
University of Wisconsin Medical School, Eau Claire
A 79-year-old man with type 2 diabetes mellitus developed
heel and forefoot ulcers, for which he received currently
recommended therapy, including an off-loading orthotic,
systemic antibiotics selected by infectious disease consultants, and topical therapies directed by a wound care expert.
After 14 months of care costing $390,000 - a cost that
included 5 hospitalizations and 4 surgeries - the ulcers
measured 8 x 5 cm and 3 x 3 cm. Deep tissue cultures grew
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and Pseudomonas.
During this time the patient lost 2 toes but refused belowthe-knee amputation, despite being informed by 2 different
surgical teams that without it he would likely die. This
opinion was based on the patient's recurrent episodes of
heel osteomyelitis and multiple medical complications,
including acute renal failure from culture-specific antibiotics. The patient was eventually discharged to his home at
his request,after consulting with his family and the hospital's ethics committee. He lost a third toe before consenting
to a trial of topical honey. Course of treatment with honey
consisted of once-daily, thick applications of ordinary
(continue on page 9)
Flowering (continued from page 4)
acts with another nucleic acid factor called FD. The FT/FD
complex then sets in motion flower development. Together
these studies strongly indicate that FT is the elusive “florigen”. What are the implications of these findings for the
future? There are seasonal variation in blooming among
different plants. Rice flowers in the fall as the days shorten. By modifying (genetic engineering) the expression of
the signaling pathway for flowering, it may be possible to
produce multiple rice crops in some parts of the world.
Other crops could also be suitable candidates for altering
blooming to increase annual yields.
Source: Science, vol. 309, pg. 1024, 2005
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
GM Superweed Discovered The first superweed has been
discovered in the UK - the result of GM oilseed rape crossbreeding with a common weed in farm scale trials, according to new Government research. Environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth (FoE) said the revelation
raises serious concerns about the impact of growing GM
oilseed rape in the UK - and comes less than a month after
the UK tried to persuade other European countries to lift
their own bans on growing GM oilseed rape. FoE said the
Government study monitored gene flow from Bayer's herbicide-resistant GM oilseed rape to related wild plants during the Government sponsored farm scale evaluations of
GM At one test site, the researchers found a GM version
of the common weed charlock growing in the field, the
year after the GM trial. The plant was resistant to the weed
killer used in the GM trial and was confirmed as containing the gene inserted into the GM oilseed rape. It is the
first known case of such an occurrence in the UK and overturns previous scientific assumptions that charlock was
unlikely to cross-breed with GM oilseed rape. Charlock is
a common weed found alongside oilseed rape in the UK
and mainland Europe. If GM oilseed rape was grown commercially, herbicide-resistant weeds could become widespread. Farmers would then have to use more and more
damaging weedkillers to get rid of them, with knock-on
impacts on the environment. Bayer has lodged two applications for approval to grow GM oilseed rape with the
European Commission. Approval would allow the GM
oilseed to be grown in the UK. FoE said that last month
Environment Minister Elliot Morley voted to try to force
France and Greece to lift their bans on GM oilseed rape.
The bans were originally put in place in 1998 because of
concerns about gene escape into the environment.
Source: The Press Association Limited, July 25, 2005
Insect Digestive Enzyme Inhibitor in Transgenic Plants
May Harm Honey Bees The soybean trypsin inhibitor
(SBTI) can inhibit insect digestive enzymes resulting in
starvation of the insect. Previous studies have shown that
SBTI is toxic to honey bees at a 1% concentration in sugar
water. Honey bees would most likely be exposed to SBTI
contained in pollen from plants engineered to have the
SBTI gene. However, measurements of SBTI levels in
pollen have been lacking. Researchers at Texas A & M
University fed to caged honey bees pollen/sugar cakes containing 0.1, 0.5, or 1.0% SBTI. The investigators presumed that the lowest concentration of SBTI may reflect
what a honey bee may encounter in the field whereas the
highest is unlikely to be present. They then measured the
activity of the hypopharyngeal gland (brood food producing gland in the honey bee head), proteolytic enzyme activity of the honey bee gut, and bee survival. The 0.1 and
0.5% concentrations of SBTI did not affect hypopharyngeal gland activity or gut enzyme activity. By contrast,
both of the latter activities were significantly reduced in
bees fed 1% SBTI. Bee survival over a 30-day observation
period was lowest in bees fed the 1% SBTI although survival was also significantly decreased (compared to bees
fed the pollen/sugar cake lacking SBTI) in bees fed the
lower amount s of SBTI. Overall, this study shows that
bees with pollen diets containing less than a 1% concentration of SBTI would not have an adverse effect on colony
Source: Journal of Insect Physiology, online
PHONE: (270) 242-2012
TOLL FREE: 1-800-233-2899
FAX: (270) 242-4801
EMAIL: [email protected]
The Walter T. Kelley Co.
was founded in 1924 by Mr.
Kelley (1897-1986) and his wife Ida (1896-1978) in
Houma, Louisiana. Walter Kelley was born in Sturgis,
Michigan, and graduated from Michigan State University
in 1919 with a degree in apiculture. He enlisted in the
Army Signal Corps (now the Air Force) and was called to
active duty in June, 1918, but shortly after the armistice
(November, 1918), he was discharged. After graduating,
Walter worked for the USDA until 1924 when he started
keeping bees full time. He took a temporary leave of
absence from the USDA in 1921 while he worked for E. B.
Ault of Weslaco, Texas, who at the time was one of the
major shippers of package bees and queens. Walter traveled extensively during this time in his Model T Ford.
Walter printed his first bee supply catalog in 1926.
In the 1930s Kelley sold queens for $0.25 and three-pound
packages with queens for $1.50. He paid $0.10 a pound for
beeswax, and in 1932 started manufacturing foundations.
By 1934, all the large cypress trees in the Houma area had
been cut, and the saw mill closed. That year the Kelleys
moved their factory to Paducah, Kentucky where they
began to use white pine to make bee hives. In 1938, Walter
started to manufacture honey extractors, storage tanks, and
double boilers for heating honey.
As the company was growing, the federal government built an atomic plant near Paducah in 1950 and paid
high wages. Since Walter could not legally raise wages at
that time, all his employees quit for higher paying jobs.
The Kelleys in 1952 purchased a 225-acre farm mear
Clarkson, Kentucky and rebuilt their factory. Local labor
was in ample supply and it was easy to ship bees from this
location. Walter was very inventive and improved or developed several beekeeping items: ventilated bee gloves
(1938); double boilers, 2-frame extractors, and wired foundation (1939), small capping melters (1941); helmets
(1947); hive loaders (1954); electric water immersion
heaters (1959); 33 and 72-frame extractors (1970); jumbo
capping melters (1971); plastic 5-gallon cans (1976); plas-
tic telescoping covers and inner covers (1974); and plastic
shallow supers (1976).
Starting in 1944, Kelley published his own bee
journal, Modern Beekeeping, until other demands on his
time forced him to discontinue it. In 1955, Walter wrote a
practical reference on beekeeping, “How to Keep Bees and
Sell Honey”, that is published by the Kelley Company. The
thirteenth edition was published in 1993 that was revised
and edited by Doris J. Pharris, then president of the Walter
T. Kelley Co. Ms. Pharris had been the company’s bookkeeper since 1951, and retired in 1993. Sarah Manion
replaced Doris as president and she continues in that capacity.
Kelley’s unique and well-known trademark,
Walter’s head on the body of a honey bee, first appeared on
the front cover of their 1939 bee supply catalog. Walter
believed people would remember this distinctive and
unusual emblem, and he used it in most of his advertising.
The emblem made him known internationally as “The Bee
The company employs about 37 employees and has
sales of $6 million annually. The 2005 catalog bears the
picture of the company’s new office/warehouse building
and a new emblem with a prominent “K”. (see previous
page). The old office building/warehouse is under renovation and will maintain “The Bee Man” emblem. We will
continue to see the latter logo on packing boxes, etc. Sarah
cautions not to call between 12:00 and 1:00 PM CST since
everyone takes a lunch break then. It’s nice to see in this
day-of-age that a company can take time to slow down a bit
to smell the roses. She said that Walter preferred two hour
lunch breaks.
Walter specified that for 20 years after his passing
the company would be managed by its employees. In 2006,
the company will be owned by the Twin Lake Regional
Hospital in nearby Leitchfield, Kentucky. By doing so,
Kelley hoped to avoid inheritance taxes (maybe a reflection
of some disdain for the government when the company was
in Paducah?) and to have the factory operate far into the
future. Walter and his wife Ida were amazing people in
their dedication to helping beekeepers and their employees,
a dedication that will hopefully continue with the new management.
Reference: Some Beekeepers and Associates Part 1, by
Joseph O. Moffett, published by Joseph O. Moffett, 1979.
Varroa Treatment Options (continued from page 1)
may result in less control of Varroa mites.
Sucrocide seems to be the best choice for summer
or late summer Varroa treatment. In a study carried out with
Edwin Holcombe, the results of which were reported in the
July, 2004 issue of this newsletter, we found that Sucrocide
was as effective as Apistan. We used the “lift-and-spray”
method and found this method of application to be too laborious for even a few colonies. It also may be too disruptive
to the colony. The July issue of the American Bee Journal
describes a “spray-down” application of Sucrocide in which
the agent is sprayed between the frame spaces. The lift-andspray method produced a 91% in mite mortality as compared to a respectable 75% with the spray-down approach.
The latter study used a ACE compression hand sprayer and
a flat fan nozzle (Chapin I-5934 0.2 gallons per minute)
(Chapin Manufacturing, Inc. Phone: (800) 444-3140,
http://www.chapinmfg.com/n2004/). The nozzle permitted
the tip to be inserted between the frame spaces for spraying.
If you decide to go this route, you will need to confirm that
the nozzle will work with your sprayer wand. Hives were
configured as double deeps and spraying was only done
through the frame spaces of the top brood chamber. Total
treatment time per colony was less than 2 minutes. The
authors of the study suggest that spraying between the
frames of each brood chamber may afford better efficacy.
The authors also show that Sucrocide had minimal affect on
eggs and larvae as long as the brood was covered with adult
bees. A second paper in the same ABJ issue describes the
fabrication of a 10-nozzle spray boom requiring a bigger
investment and more appropriate for beekeepers with many
colonies. The latter paper also describes a single nozzle
delivery system using TeeJet components (http://www.teejet.com/ms/teejet/). The latter uses a TeeJet TP8002 flat
spray nozzle that requires a 11/16 Spray Systems thread cap
for attachment to a wand. TeeJet offers a TriggerJet spray
gun with either a 1/4 or 3/8 inch hose connector on the inlet
side that can be obtained from Abner Sales (800-450-6666).
Alternatively, you may be able to use a 1/8 or 1/4 female or
male thread x 11/16 adapter to connect the TeeJet nozzle to
your wand.
A final note is that for the past three years, I have
used oxalic acid treatment in late fall when very little brood
is present. In a study carried out with Edwin Holcombe, we
found that the combination of formic acid followed later
with oxalic acid was as effective as Apistan in controlling
Varroa, thus confirming studies carried out by Anton Imdorf
and Jean-Daniel Charriere at the Swiss Bee Research
Centre. We used the trickle method of applying oxalic acid
according to the New Zealand guidelines.
roa/guidelines/oxalic-acid-guideline.htm) Malcolm T.
Sanford in the August issue of the Apis_Newsletter states
that the directors of the American Beekeeping Federation
are pursuing registration of oxalic acid. If successful, this
would provide beekeepers with an effective addition to
Varroa treatment options.
Robbing the Bees A Biography of Honey: The Sweet
Liquid Gold That Seduced the World by Holley Bishop
(Free Press, New York, 2005, 334 pp. $24 ISBN 0-74325021-4) Memoirs of a writer who has recently come to beekeeping. Bishop's book is a multidisciplinary delight -- biology, botany, technology sociology, religion, and personal,
natural and cultural history. As a contemporary counterpoint, we learn about the bee business through Bishop's
extended observation of and conversation with a Florida
beekeeper named Don Smiley. The main trust of the book
is beekeeping and honey.
Letters from the Hive An Intimate History of Bees, Honey,
and Humankind by Stephen Buchmann with
Banning Repplier (Bantam, New York, 2005, 288 pp.,
$24, ISBN 0-553-80375-1) This book as well as the next
concentrate on the cultural and historical aspects of bees.
Written by University of Arizona entomologist Stephen
Buchmann who sees bees and ancient beekeeping traditions
practiced by Aborigines and Mayaysias disappearing.
The Hive The Story of the Honeybee and Us by Bee
Wilson (John Murray, London, 2004, 320 pp., 14.99
Euros, ISBN 0-7195-6409-3) Unlike the previous two
authors, Wilson does not keep bees. Wilson’s book is distinctive in its analysis of the way in which bees and honey
have influenced the language and thinking of human beings.
Bees In America: How The Honey Bee Shaped A Nation
by Tammy Horn (University Press of Kentucky, 2005,
333 pp., $27.50, ISBN 081312350X) Bees in America is an
enlightening cultural history of bees and beekeeping in the
United States. Tammy Horn, herself a beekeeper, offers a
varied social and technological history from the colonial
period, when the British first introduced bees to the New
World, to the present, when bees are being used by the
American military to detect bombs. Honey bees--and the
qualities associated with them--have quietly influenced
American values for four centuries. During every major
period in the country's history, bees and beekeepers have
represented order and stability in a country without a national religion, political party, or language.
News (continued from page 5)
honey purchased at a supermarket were smeared on gauze
4x4s and placed on the wounds, which were then wrapped.
A new local beekeeper association has been Oral antibiotics and saline dressings were discontinued, but
organized to serve the growth in the number of beekeep- otherwise treatment was unchanged. Since the patient's famers in the southern middle Tennessee area. CABA meets ily purchased and applied the honey, the cost of this therapy
the first Sunday of each month at 2:00 PM at the Farm was merely that of the dressings. Dressing changes were
Bureau in Columbia. Contact Jack Wohlfarth for more painless and the serum glucose remained in excellent control. Granulation tissue appeared within 2 weeks; in 6 to 12
information: 931-987-0910; [email protected]
months the ulcers resolved. Two years later, the ulcers have
recurred; the patient ambulates with a walker and reports
improved quality-of-life.
Here is a thirst-quencher, energy booster, and elec- Source: The Journal of Family Practice, vol. 54, pg 533,
trolyte replacer developed by the National Honey Board 2005
(NHB.org) that I find excellent in taste as well.
Tennessee Entomological Society Annual Meeting
October 13-14, 2005, Ellington Agricultural Center,
Nashville, TN
cup honey
teaspoon lite salt
cups orange juice
5-1/2 cups water
If the “Expires” on the mailing label shows all zeros,
you are receiving The Antennae complimentary.
Combine ingredients. Using lukewarm water will aid in
dissolving honey. Then cool
If you receive The Antennae by surface mail
look at the mailing label for when your membership
expires. If you receive it electronically, you will
receive a separate notice electronically.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (8 oz.)
Calories: 75 Carbohydrates: 21 g Potassium: 85 mg
Sodium: 77 mg Sugar: 19 g
Name___________________________________________________Phone Number (_______)____________________
City____________________________________________ State____________________ Zip_____________________
Local Association____________________________County of Residence___________________________________
email________________________________________________________________ Years as beekeeper___________
Membership Type (Please check one)
Newsletter by surface mail- 1 Year Membership Single/Family ($10) _________ (one newsletter per family)
Newsletter electronically - 1 Year Membership Single/Family ($5) __________ (one newsletter per family)
Names of family THBA members
Please make check or money order payable to: Tennessee Hobbyist Beekeepers Association
Mail to: Tennessee Hobbyist Beekeepers Association, c/o David Young, Treasurer, 902 Kingfisher Point, Nashville, TN 37221
Earl Seay, East Tennessee ,865-577-2811 ,6729 Ottinger Dr., Knoxville, TN 37920
Edwin Holcombe, Middle Tennessee, 931-684-0826, P.O. Box 303 Shelbyville, TN 37162
Bill Lane, West Tennessee, 901-465-3981, 230 Countrywood Lane, Oakland, TN 38060 [email protected]
President, Jim Primus, 615-936-3361 Work, 615-599-0724 Home, 5348 Indian Valley Rd, Franklin, TN 37064, [email protected]
Treasurer, David Young, 615-943-8886, 902 Kingfisher Point, Nashville, Tennessee 37221, [email protected]
Secretary, Jean Simpson, 615-322-3041 Work, 615-599-0724 Home, 5348 Indian Valley Rd, Franklin, TN 37064,
[email protected]
The Antennae, Editor, Jim Primus
State Officials
State Apiculturist
Dr. John Skinner, [email protected] (865) 974-7138 University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, Knoxville, TN 37901
State Apiarist
Gray Haun, [email protected] (615) 837-5338 Fax: (615) 837-5335, Tennessee Dept of Agriculture, Ellington Agricultural
Center, Nashville, TN
David Young,Treasurer
902 Kingfisher Point
Nashville, Tennessee 37221
First Class