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Pennsylvania State
Beekeepers Association

2020 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Chosen

Lucy Winn was selected as the 2020 Pennsylvania Honey Queen. Congratulations, Lucy!   

The Pennsylvania Honey Queen Program may be able to provide a speaker for your event. See details and contact information on our Honey Queen page.

Aaron Fisher selected as 2019 Beekeeper of the Year

The 2019 Beekeeper of the Year award was presented to Aaron Fisher at the PSBA fall conference.

Obituary

Reverend Richard C. Chapin, 89, of Montrose, Pa., passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, October 30. An Eastern Apicultural Society Master Beekeeper, EAS Historian, Pat President and & Editor of the Susquehanna Beekeeper's Association, Richard visited local schools and home schoolers in the Twin Tiers for many years to teach children about honey bees and beekeeping. He served as honey judge at the Harford Fair and the PA State Beekeeper's conference, which he attended for many years.   Read the full obituary.

Beekeepers in Pittsburgh - AFB Information

Updated 8-29-19
Updated Letter to Beekeepers in Pittsburgh (by Karen Roccasecca)  
Neighborhood map of Pittsburgh

For all beekeepers:
Updated 10-18-19 Parasitic Mite Syndrome
Updated 10-18-19 Preventing the Spread of American Foulbrood
Updated 10-18-19 Differences Between AFB-EFB-PMS
Updated 8-29-19 American Foulbrood Information (by Penn State University)
Updated 7-15-19 American Foulbrood Information
American Foulbrood Information (by Meghan Milbrath)

For the health and safety of all of our honeybees, it is important that your hives be registered. It is also required by state law. Mail-In Registration Form   Online Registration

Managing Varroa Mites

A Varroa Management Decision Tool is available at the Honey Bee Health Coalition website.

PA State Apiary Inspection

Inspections for the year have ended and are expected to resume in Spring 2020.

Summer Picnic Photos

Picnic Photos   (Photos by Charlie Vorisek)

EAS 2019 Kids Day Photos

EAS Photos   (Photos by Charlie Vorisek)

López-Uribe Lab: Managing Honeybees

Using an evidence-based approach to manage honey bees in light of wild bee declines

Beescape Website is Now Live

"Beescape provides a tool for beekeepers, gardeners, growers and land managers to assess the quality of their landscapes for supporting managed honey bees and wild bees." (Beescape is a partnership of the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State University, Dickinson College, Purdue University, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, University of Minnesota, and University of California, Davis.)    Visit Beescape.

Model Beekeeping Ordinance

We now have a PA Model Beekeeping Ordinance available to view/download.

Pollen Foraging Study

A pollen foraging study has been completed in West Virignia through a Northeast SARE farmer grant endeavoring to determine which plants were being foraged through the months of July through October and which plants were contributing the most to the bees' diet. They looked at pollen collected by honey bees in five West Virginia locations, and pollen collected in one of the locations for three consecutive years. Many of the plants common in West Virginia are also common in parts of Pennsylvania. The final report is available on the Northeast SARE website.

Western PA Beekeeping Seminar Pictures

View the photos (photos courtesy of Ken Hoover)

Dr. Samuel Ramsey's varroa research

Dr. Samuel Ramsey spoke at our 2018 fall conference. View the video he did on the same subject for the Danish Beekeeper's Association. Dr. Ramsey previously won the international Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition for his thesis 'Varroa destructor: The Curious Case of the Bee Mite's Bite' (Video introduces new ideas on varroa destructor).

Pennsylvania Honey Queen Brochures


The 2018 Pennsylvania Honey Queen - Honey Recipes Brochures are available. In addition to some great honey recipes, the brochure includes information on the Honey Queen Program, some Honey Bee trivia, and some information on our 2018 Honey Queen, Hannah Albright. Brochures are available for $15 for a pack of 100. Proceeds go to the PSBA Honey Queen Program. To purchase brochures contact:

Important updates for Beekeepers about Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) and the Current Quarantine

Update   Spotted Lanternfly Permits are required for individuals, businesses, and organizations moving within or from the quarantine zone. Working with PA Department of Agriculture, Penn State Extension launched an online course to provide training and permits as needed.

If you do not know about the invasive leafhopper, or would like to learn more about it, please go to the PA Department of Agriculture's website.

We are trying to prevent the spread of this insect to other parts of PA and to other states. A few SLF have been found in New York, Delaware, and Virginia, but we do not want to spread more.

You may be wondering how SLF and beekeeping interact. Please be aware that the guideline information for beekeepers is quite new and some of the information will change and be updated. The guidelines of are particular interest to beekeepers in these counties: Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill. These counties are under the SLF quarantine.

The quarantine's important guidelines are necessary and will help PA maintain trade and good relationships with other states, as well as other Pennsylvanians. The SLF quarantine guidelines for PA beekeepers are not overly hard to do and are well worth learning about. Moving within PA from or within a quarantined area requires a beekeeper to receive training and pass a test to receive certification that he or she understands the importance of this quarantine and how to check their equipment, vehicles, etc. If the beekeeper is moving out of state, they must contact me or their state Apiary Inspector. We will be doing the regular export inspection, as well as a SLF inspection, prior to issuing the export permit (Certificate of Inspection) to the beekeeper and the receiving state. There is NO charge for these inspections.

SLF Checklist
Official SLF Quarantine Information
SLF Unofficial Permit Guidelines for Beekeepers

Karen Roccasecca / State Apiarist
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
2301 N Cameron Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-346-9567 / Fax: 717-783-3275
www.agriculture.state.pa.us

Tracking the Health of Feral Bees in PA

"Since 2016 the López-Uribe lab has been leading a citizen science project that aims to map and characterize the health status of feral bees across Pennsylvania." Read their full article.

PA Queen Bee Improvement Project - Field Test for Mite-biting Behavior

Interested in participating as a 'Backyard Scientist' studying Purdue Leg-Chewers?
Instructions for Participating   Application

The Pennsylvania Pollinator Protection Plan


Download video (Right-click and choose 'Save link/target as' if your browser doesn't default to downloading file)
View static version of video as pdf

The Pennsylvania Pollinator Protection Plan (P4) was developed with input from 36 individuals representing 28 state and national organizations and stakeholder groups. It summarizes the current state of pollinators in Pennsylvania, and provides recommendations for best practices and resources to support and expand pollinator populations. There is an opportunity for comments at the end. Comments will be accepted until Dec 15th. The document is fluid and will be reviewed and updated annually. The final chapter will be written based on comments that will help guide how it may be published and implemented.
Details at the Center for Pollinator Research

PSBA Bee Friendly Program

Bee Friendly PA is a new initiative from the Pennsylvania State Beekeeping Association (PSBA) that recognizes bee-friendly communities across the state: those that encourage beekeeping as well provide hospitable habitats and pollinator-friendly pest management practices.

Varroa Videos

The Honeybee Health Coalition has posted a series of videos to help beekeepers combat varroa.

Landscapes for Honey Bees Project - Beekeepers wanted!

PSBA will be a sponsor of a new beekeeper-scientist partnership project, "Landscapes for Honey Bees"! The goal is to identify landscape features (land use, forage quality, microclimate) that best support honey bee populations, by working with a network of cooperating beekeepers that cover a wide variety of landscapes, from urban to agricultural to rural.

"The Penn State Center for Pollinator Research is recruiting beekeepers from Pennsylvania and surrounding states to assist in research on how landscape features affect the quality of apiaries. The Landscapes for Bee Project will inform land managers, growers and beekeepers about how to find and create optimum resources for bees." Read more...

Project Website & Registration   More about pollinators

"Why did my honey bees die?"

Wondering what happened? Read the article at beeinformed.org

Sentinel Apiary Project

Bee Informed Partnership is looking for beekeeping groups from across the country who manage 8 or more colonies and are interested to participate in their Sentinel Apiary Project. If you chose to participate, your club will receive monthly disease reports of Nosema and Varroa levels as well as colony health monitoring with hive scales. Data collected can be shared among those in your group, as your Sentinel Apiary will represent beekeeping conditions specific to your region. All personal data collected will remain confidential; however hive scale and disease data from Sentinel apiaries will be on a shared, public website. Subsidies available for the cost of hive scales for qualifying groups. Details and application available at beeinformed.org.

Bee Behavior Expert Studies Honeybee Swarms

Read the Smithsonian article about Thomas Seeley: "The Secret Life of Bees".

Pesticide Information

A list of Pesticide descriptions and information is available on our Current Research page.

Protecting Honey Bees from Chemical Pesticides

Documents and Brochures Available in PDF Format

WHO: BTi (used for mosquito control) not toxic to honey bees

Are Honey Bees pollinators and beneficial insects or pests?

Value of Honey Bees in Pennsylvania

Give Honey Bees a Helping Hand

Beekeeping Basics

Zoning Ordinances, Gardens and Honey Bees

new Best Management Practices  (updated 3/18/19)

(see the 'Publication Quick Links' below for even more...)

Interested in joining PSBA?

For a list of membership benefits and a form to join the association, see our Membership page.

Publication Quick Links

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