VT Bee Blog

Welcome to the Vermont Bee Blog...

Thoughts about beekeeping and beekeepers in Vermont along with links to local and national stories of interest. While most articles are public, VBA members who login to the site will have access to additional articles and features.

VBA Members are invited to submit their thoughts, articles and images. Simply login to the site and click the Submit an Article button to join the conversation. livemarks

Fungus to Combat Varroa?

Vermont State Apiculturalist Steve Parise passes along this interesting look at a new method of controlling Varroa mites.

Fungus Fights Varroa in a Two-Pronged Attack

(October 22, 2012) – Guelph, ONmite larvaA Varroa mite on a honey bee pupa (photo by Gilles San Martin)

A fungus normally used to control insect pests may help honey bees protect themselves from a destructive mite by both infecting the mites and preventing suppression of the bee immune system, says a team of  bee researchers at the University of Guelph.

The Varroa mite is a devastating bee pathogen that, if left untreated, can kill an entire honey bee colony. Beekeepers typically treat their colonies with miticides to control the mites, but resistance to these chemicals has become widespread.  The Varroa mite is believed to be a leading factor in the high winter mortality experienced in Canadian bee colonies in recent years.   “Beekeepers have an urgent need for effective, bee-friendly Varroa treatments. Naturally-occurring entomopathogenic fungi could be an effective, biologically-based control method.  They are non-toxic to humans and can be mass-cultured,” explains Mollah Md. Hamiduzzaman, a post-doctoral researcher in the School of Environmental Sciences and lead author of the study.


What's Your Honey Story?

Like fine wine or fancy chocolate, each beekeeper's honey is particular to the bee yard in which its made. Taste and appearance are largely Honey frm GM Bee Farmdependent on where the bees have foraged, bass wood, apple blossoms, raspberries, mint, the list is endless.  At EAS, Rowen Jacobson, used the french word "terroir" (pronounced tare-WAHR), translated as the "taste of place," to explain the individuality of honey. At the farmer's market or local food supplier, look at a shelf of Vermont honey and its terroir is immediately apparent and incredibly diverse.

In 250 words, write your honey's individual story, describing how it gets its unique terroir. You can also include how you named your honey. Send the story to Patricia Ferreira at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she'll publish it in the December issue of FlightPath, the electronic newsletter for VBA members.

Thank You Volunteers - EAS

Kathy Summers from Bee Culture magazine and the Eastern Apicultural Society was kind enough to grant us permission to repost this article from the current issue of the magazine thanking all the Vermont volunteers who made EAS 2012 a success! Thanks Kathy and thank you volunteers!

Bees or Not?

Ia That a Bee?

Several times a week we respond to questions similar to this one from Woody Dionne, Physical Plant Director at Johnson Stat220px-Apis melliferae College. He writes:

"Over the past few years we have been experiencing more and more aggressive and invasive bees around the school. Is this something new or am I just getting more complaints? Yesterday I noticed that about four swarmed around me and I was walking in a parking lot....African bee's ?"

Good question and a good opportunity for VBA members to help educate the public about the differences between honey bees and other insects often mistaken for honey bees (Apis mellifera).