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Pennsylvania State
Beekeepers Association

Fall Conference Survey

In an effort to see what works best for our membership, we would like to gauge the interest in holding the 2020 Fall Conference on a different schedule from the current Friday/Saturday. If you could take a moment to complete this quick survey it will be greatly appreciated.

This will be up until Dec 15th. Please only fill it out one time.
Thank you

PA Farm Show Ice Cream Booth Setup/Volunteers

The Farm Show Ice Cream Booth Set Up Day that was scheduled for December 14th has been rescheduled to Saturday, December 21st at 9 AM. The Farm Show Complex is hosting a volleyball tournament this weekend so we are not able to set up the ice cream booth as planned. Please contact Steve Finke at (610) 737-7676 or steve@meadowviewbees.com or Aaron Fisher at (717) 242-4373 or aaron@fisherbeefarm.com if you can help with the set up on Saturday, December 21st.

I also wanted to put out a plea for volunteers to work the Ice Cream Booth at the 2020 Farm Show that from January 3rd - 11th. Visit our sign-up page to choose your time slots and see what hotel reimbursement you can receive based on the shifts you chose. Call Steve or Aaron if you have any questions.

The following shifts are most in need of volunteers:   (see sign-up page for updates)

    Day Shift Positions Filled
  • Friday/3 Jan 1030 am - 4 pm 2 of 6
  • Friday/3 Jan 4 pm - 9 pm 2 of 6
  • Saturday/4 Jan 12 pm - 4 pm 5 of 10
  • Saturday/4 Jan 4 pm - 9 pm 2 of 10
  • Sunday/5 Jan 12 pm - 4 pm 6 of 10
  • Sunday/5 Jan 4 pm - 9 pm 3 of 10
  • Monday/6 Jan 12 pm - 4 pm 4 of 8
  • Monday/6 Jan 4 pm - 9 pm 0 of 8
  • Tuesday/7 Jan 4 pm - 9 pm 0 of 8
  • Wednesday/8 Jan 4 pm - 9 pm 0 of 8
  • Thursday/9 Jan 12 pm - 4 pm 2 of 8
  • Thursday/9 Jan 4 pm - 9 pm 0 of 8
  • Friday/10 Jan 8 am - 12 pm 2 of 5
  • Friday/10 Jan 12 pm - 4 pm 0 of 10
  • Friday/10 Jan 4 pm - 9 pm 0 of 10
  • Saturday/11 Jan 8 am - 12 pm 2 of 5
  • Saturday/11 Jan 12 pm - 5 pm 3 of 10

If you can volunteer please sign up soon. These events don't work without your support! Thanks,
Bob Tatro
PSBA Secretary/Treasurer

2020 PA Farm Show

The PA Farm Show will occur January 4 - 11 at the Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg. Exhibit registration is currently open and various volunteers are also needed. Details on our Farm Show Page.

Beescape Survey

Beescape is looking for Beekeepers to participate in an online survey to evaluate the Beescape apiary information mapping system that's been developed by the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State. This tool helps beekeepers, gardeners, and land managers visualize and evaluate the quality of their landscapes for supporting managed honey bees and wild bees. This evaluation will help the Penn State Center for Pollinator Research improve the current prototype to better support the needs of beekeepers, and will require approximately 30 minutes of your time. Upon completion, you have the option to receive a $10 Amazon gift card. The survey deadline is 13 December 2019. If you are interested in participating, or have questions about this study, please email Jamie Peeler.

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.

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

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.

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.

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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