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Remembering a Fallen Beekeeper - Jason A. Nicholson

Fayette County beekeeper Jason Nicholson, 37, died Wednesday, October 7, 2020 while in his bee yard. Jason leaves behind his wife and four young children. Read his obituary.
If you would like to help the family, please visit their Go Fund Me Page.
We extend our deepest sympathy to Jason's family and friends.

Pollinator Webinar Series

Checkout the Pollinator Webinar Series - Winter 2020 from Penn State. (Weekly from November 4 thru December 16.) For details visit their website.

PSBA Annual Conference Cancelled

The Fall Conference and Membership Meeting planned for State College this November has been cancelled, as stated in below letter:

Hi all,

Since the PSBA Picnic was cancelled we held the Executive Committee Meeting on the Zoom platform on Saturday, 8 August. The Executive Committee is comprised of the Elected Officers, Representatives appointed by Affiliate Clubs, and Past Presidents. We still have numerous affiliated clubs who have not yet appointed their Executive Committee representatives.

This is not the complete notes from the meeting, but there are a few things we wanted to get out to everyone.

First, it was decided that it was in PSBA's best interest to cancel the Fall Conference and Membership Meeting planned for State College in November. The two primary concerns were the safety of our members and the potential that the Governor could change the rules for gatherings at any time causing a last minute cancellation with all of the associated costs. We are looking into what it would take to hold a scaled down conference on the Zoom platform. More information will follow.

Second, with the cancellation of the Fall Conference and Membership Meeting it was agreed that it wasn't feasible to try to hold officer elections online. The current officers have agreed to remain in their positions for another year. During that time we will draft changes to the By-Laws to address procedures to be followed in the event that elections cannot be held. These draft changes will of course be published for everyone's review and would not become effective until approved by a vote of the membership. Hopefully we will be back on track for our Fall Conference and Membership Meeting in 2021.

Last, we still don't have any information if the Farm Show will go on as planned in January. We do know that if it does, it won't be business as usual for the PSBA. After many years of hard work and dedicated service Stu Mathias and Aaron Fisher are "retiring". Thankfully, we have people ready to step up and take the reins for this important event that is the primary source of financing for the Honey Queen Program. So, if you see Stu or Aaron thank them for their hard work and wish them well.

Thank you,
The Executive Committee

Tribute for Ruth Keeney

YouTube link for the Ruth Keeney Remembrance

PA State Apiary Inspection

The 2020 PA State Apiary Inspection season has begun. Find your local inspector by clicking on your county on our map. The entire list of local inspector's names and contact information is also available on that same page.

PA State Apiary Inspection - COVID-19 GUIDANCE: Interstate Transportation of Bees

Please read this informational document from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture regarding the Interstate Transportation of Bees, Apiary Registrations and Permits, and inspections.

How to Keep Bees During COVID-19

Article by Robyn Underwood and Margarita López-Uribe, Department of Entomology, Penn State University.

López-Uribe Lab: Beekeeping Resources at Penn State

Spring is approaching. Here are some useful links that may be helpful to beekeepers everywhere. If your a beginner, get started with 'Beekeeping, Where to Begin' (https://lopezuribelab.com/beekeeping-where-to-begin/). If you will be installing bee packages this spring, here is a video detailing a step-by-step installation method (https://lopezuribelab.com/package-bee-installation/). If you have overwintered colonies, enjoy our new video that provides an overview of swarming biology and illustrates a step-by-step method to split a colony (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjrAGPZu-Ck&feature=youtu.be). Here are some handy articles including Varroa Mite Monitoring Tools (https://lopezuribelab.com/varroa-mite-monitoring/) and Oxalic Acid treatments (https://lopezuribelab.com/oxalic-acid-treatment-protocols/).

   Katy Ciola Evans

2020 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Brochures


Queen Lucy Winn's 2020 Pennsylvania Honey Queen Brochures are now available. A $10 donation for a pack of 100 brochures is requested. You can purchase brochures by contacting the representative in your area listed below or you may print them from this pdf file if you prefer.

Spotted Lanternfly Area Expanded To 26 Counties

The Spotted Lanternfly quarantine area has been expanded. More information for beekeepers and residents:

Queen Honey Bee Development

"The queen is the most important individual in a colony. She is the only bee capable of producing workers and tens of thousands of workers are required for strong colonies." Read the full article from PennState Extension: An Introduction to Queen Honey Bee Development. A pdf version is also available.

Honeybee Viruses

Penn State Extension has posted an article with information on "Viruses in Honey Bees".

PSBA Helping Honey Bees Brochures

The 2020 Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Helping Honey Bees Brochures are available. A $10 donation/100 is requested (donations would be paid to Treasurer). To purchase brochures contact: Charlie Vorisek. Or you may print them from the pdf file, if you prefer.

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

Beescape

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.

Managing Varroa Mites

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

Summer Picnic Photos

Picnic 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).

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.

"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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