Bee Where Program Will Help Keep Bees Safe in The Spring

Beekeepers Must Register Their Bee Hive Locations

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

There’s a mandate set in place by the state of California to help the bee industry safe from pesticide spraying. Ethan Rasmussen with Rasmussen Farms and a beekeeper in the Gustine area of Merced County discussed it with California Ag Today recently. The Bee Where program mandates beekeepers to register their hives under AB2468. It was set up to help pollinating bees during the pollination season. It especially helps the almond crop during bloom.registration of hives

“It’s definitely a step forward for beekeeping industry because we have so many beekeepers coming to California,” Rasmussen said. “The almond industry is growing. It’s going to keep on growing. And that means there’s going to be an increased amount of beekeepers in the state during the springtime for almond bloom.”

With increased bees in almond orchards, it definitely increases concerns, specifically with theft and with sprays, and this program looks like it should help with that.

However, Rasmussen fears too much paperwork because there are so many different locations where there will be bees and so many different beekeepers.

“It’s going to be a lot of work, but if we can coordinate and everyone does their part it should definitely a step in the right direction.

And while all of the registrations are done online, Rasmussen noted that there still a complicated amount of paperwork to keep up with all those locations where you will have those bees.

“We’re going to have over 150 locations during almond bloom, and each one of those has to be registered with the county or whatever agency is going to handle it, and that’s a really busy time of year for us. So that’s the only concern I see,” he said.

Rasmussen said that compared to five years ago, almond growers are way more aware of protecting bees, thanks to beekeeping organizations and the Almond Board of California. There have been a lot of resources given to growers, and they are doing well.

“We are not so much concern with almond growers; it may be the peach grower down the road that could be spraying when our bees are foraging,” he said. “The new law is going to keep us registered, so anyone that’s going to spray is going to go through their PCA, and they will know where the bees are. That way, they will know whether or not to spray.”

More California Ag News

Aza-Direct Stops Insect Feeding Aza-Direct Targets Critical Pests By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor Aza-Direct, with the active ingredient Azadirachtin, is one of the most potent, reduc...
UC Davis Student Maureen Page Speaks for the Bees Maureen Page to Spread Flowers for Bees By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with doctoral student Maureen P...
UC Davis Pollination Ecologist Wins 3-Year Fellows... Fellowship Comes From the Department of Defense By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor Doctoral student Maureen Page of the Neal Williams lab at the UC Da...
Happy, Healthy Bees are Better Pollinators Keeping Bees Happy By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor Becky Langer is the project manager for the North American Bayer Bee Care Program. She spok...

UC Davis Student Maureen Page Speaks for the Bees

Maureen Page to Spread Flowers for Bees

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor
Maureen Page pollination
Maureen Page

California Ag Today recently spoke with doctoral student Maureen Page of the Neal William’s lab at UC Davis, Department of Entomology and Nematology. She is the recipient of a prestigious three-year fellowship for promoting food security by optimizing wildflower planting. She supports the wild and bee management. We asked her about the flowers that she plans on planting to help those bees.

“I do believe that in general, flowers are really important for bees. Planting flowers are generally good for them,” she said.

Although planting is good for the bees, there are some precautions that need to be made.

“Some flowers can be somewhat toxic to bees. Some do not actually provide bees with pollen and nectar resources,” Page said.

There are many ornamental plants that are bred to not have much pollen so that people do not sneeze as much.

“On top of that, if you are planting non-native species that are really weedy, it may be great for the bees, but might not be great for other plant species,” Page said.

More California Ag News

Spotted Wilt Virus Impacting Tomatoes Again Virus has Gotten Past Resistant Gene By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor Tomato spotted wilt virus is becoming big in the central San Joaquin Valley, accor...
Research Nets Going Over Citrus Trees To Prevent H... Blocking Psyllids Carrying Disease is Key By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor Beth Grafton-Cardwell is the director of the Lindcove Research Exten...
Safe Food Alliance Helps Keep Food Safe Standard is Parts Per Billion Today By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with Mark Mariani, executive chairman of the Mar...
The Need to Harmonize Maximum Residue Levels Nearly All Produce Has Zero Residues of Crop Protection Products By Mikenzi Meyers, Associate Editor It can be tempting to grab a piece of produce r...

UC Davis Pollination Ecologist Wins 3-Year Fellowship

Fellowship Comes From the Department of Defense

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor
Maureen Page Awarded Fellowship to Optimize Wildflower Plantings

Doctoral student Maureen Page of the Neal Williams lab at the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology is the recipient of a prestigious three-year fellowship, a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship for her research proposal: Promoting Food Security by Optimizing Wildflower Plantings to Support Wild and Managed Bees.

Page, a pollination ecologists, was one of 69 awardees selected from more than 3,600 applicants. The Department of Defense funds her fellowship.

“Most people probably are aware that both managed honeybees and many of the wild native species that we have in California as well as in the U.S. have major stressors that are contributing to declines in their populations,” Page said.

And of course, the bee populations suffer when there’s a lack of floral resources to pollinate. “Especially when crops are not in bloom and bees need pollen and nectar to survive. And so without enough resources, it can have dramatic declines in bee populations,” she said.

Page explained that bees are critically important to our food supply. “It’s estimated that about a third of the food supply directly benefits from insect pollination. Many of those crops are entirely dependent on insect pollination,” she said. “Without bees and other insects, those particular crops wouldn’t even be able to set fruit and many others, which while not wholly dependent on insect pollination benefit very much from insect pollination, which means more production and lower prices so that more people can afford healthy, nutritious food.”

More California Ag News

Citrus Psyllid Control Strategy Changes Reducing Sprays in Areas, and Border Nets By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor Huanglongbing, vectored by the Asian Citrus Psyllid, (ACP) is th...
Laurie Greene Wins Journalism Award Greene Wins Fresno County Farm Bureau Award for Series on Farm Workers’ Rights By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor The Fresno County Farm Bureau (FCFB) rec...
Young Dairy Owner Plans to Thrive in Future Nevin Lemos Prefers Jersey Cows By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor Nevin Lemos could be the youngest person to own a dairy in California. The 21–year-old ...
AVIV, A New Tool for Growers AVIV Low-Dose Biofungicide Now Available in California By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor STK Bio-ag technologies, the innovative Israel-based leader in b...

Happy, Healthy Bees are Better Pollinators

Keeping Bees Happy

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

Becky Langer is the project manager for the North American Bayer Bee Care Program. She spoke with California Ag Today recently about the problems that the bee population is facing.

“Bees are continuing to face multiple challenges. People are getting a better grasp of awareness that pests and diseases continue to be a huge problem in beehives,” Langer said.

A big contender in the problem is forage and habitat. Beekeepers are working hard to monitor and control the issue.

“We know that the beekeepers and growers have to continue to communicate with one another and use all those products according to label,” Langer explained.

It is also important for producers to increase the variety or forages around their land to keep bee populations healthy.

If farmers could have something blooming year-round, it would help keep the pollinators healthy.

“They also like diversity in different plant species, different colors, different sizes, flowers,” Langer said. “If the bees are happy and healthy, they will be better pollinators for the crops. You can help keep bees healthy by following the label directions carefully on your sprays and fertilizers.”

For more information on the Bayer Bee Health program

 

More California Ag News

Hanson: No Investment in Water Infrastructure Victor Davis Hanson: Water Projects Not Close to What's Needed By Laurie Greene, Founding Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with Victor Davi...
Forward Farms is a Knowledge Platform Forward Farms Reaches America By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor Becky Langer, the project manager for the North American Bayer Bee Care Program,...
Registration of Hives for Notification Beekeepers Should Register the Position of their Hives By Laurie Greene, Founding Editor Tim Pelican, Agricultural Commissioner for San Joaquin Coun...
When Spraying, Avoid Water, Bees and High Wind Spraying Safely Prevents Major Issues By Laurie Greene, Founding Editor Safe spraying is an important topic. Making sure that crop protection spray ...

Registration of Hives for Notification

Beekeepers Should Register the Position of their Hives

By Laurie Greene, Founding Editor

Tim Pelican, Agricultural Commissioner for San Joaquin County, recently explained to California Ag Today the critical importance for beekeepers to register the location of their delivered hives to farm operators, so the beekeepers can be notified when farmers are preparing to spray.

Pelican suggests farmers not spray during the day when bees are active, even if the product label does not suggest this restraint. He also reported that state agricultural commissioners are working on “our concern about the lack of notification by beekeepers to farmers about the exact location of their delivered beehives when we have instances of reported bee kills.”

“Beekeepers are supposed to register with the county,” Pelican explained, “when they move beehives into the counties. It is like a $5 fee, but for some reason people just do not do it. Beekeepers tend to be secretive sometimes, but we do keep all of that information strictly to ourselves. That’s not something we issue to the public.”

Pelican also mentioned that Ag commissioners will attempt to encourage farmers to notify schools about nearby spraying.

“We are actually notifying growers who are impacted. When they come in and do their pickup, their permits, we will have computers available to them to help them get their notification done. Their PCAs or dealers, if they are listed on their permit, can do the notification for them as well.”

“That notification then goes directly to the affected school,” he continued. “Then that school also can take a look and see which growers are applying what products. That information, however, is available only to the people who can get into the computer program—school officials, the grower, or the Ag commissioner. This is not information that is out there for the general public. The program has the ability to transfer the chemicals listed on the permit over to the notification. That way we are avoiding duplication of effort.”

More California Ag News

When Spraying, Avoid Water, Bees and High Wind Spraying Safely Prevents Major Issues By Laurie Greene, Founding Editor Safe spraying is an important topic. Making sure that crop protection spray ...
Relentless Search for ACP and HLB Trees Intense Inspections of Urban Citrus Trees Continue By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor Joel Nelsen is president and CEO of California Citrus Mutual, based ...
Helping Bees with Cover Crops Helps Orchards Keeping Pollinating Bees in Almond Orchards By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with Billy Synk, director of po...
Billy Synk Manages Seeds for Bees Program Cover Crops and Bee Health By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with Billy Synk, director of pollination program...

Helping Bees with Cover Crops Helps Orchards

Keeping Pollinating Bees in Almond Orchards

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

California Ag Today recently spoke with Billy Synk, director of pollination programs with project Apis M, a group whose goal is to fund and direct research for the health of honey bees. Synk discussed bees and cover crops in almond orchards.

“They have a preference for the almonds bloom,” he explained.

Almond blossoms have 25 percent protein. The structure of the flower is also a lot more open, making it easier to get into than other flowers.

“UC Davis has done research on bloom competition. It really is not a valid concern as much as you want to keep bees on a specific crop or in a specific area. So if you’re able to provide that alternative flowers right underneath the trees, you’re just going to keep them from wandering off,” Synk said.

Cover crops are planted around almond orchards to stimulate honeybees. One of these mixes is called PAm mustard mix.

“That master mix has canola, three different species of mustard, and then daikon radishes,” he said. “The white daikon radish is not just for the honeybees; it benefits the soil as well. Its long taproot breaks up compacted soil and provides much needed organic matter when it decomposes.”

More California Ag News

Tim Pelican Says Be Watchful When Spraying Safety When Spraying By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with Tim Pelican, Agricultural Commissioner for San Jo...
Billy Synk Manages Seeds for Bees Program Cover Crops and Bee Health By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with Billy Synk, director of pollination program...
Technologies for Spray Tank Mixes Dave Cheetham on Game Changer By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with, Dave Cheetham, Tech Marketing Manager w...
Kern County Ag Commissioner Notes Mild Winter Weather and Pest Control this Season In Kern County By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with Glenn Fankhauser, ...

Cover Crops Help Bees and Soil

Flowering Cover Crops Stimulates Bees

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

California Ag Today recently interviewed Billy Synk, director of pollination programs for Project Apis m and manager of the Seeds for Bees Project. The Project Apis m mission is to fund and direct research to enhance the health and vitality of honeybee colonies while improving crop production. He spoke on the benefits of cover crops for honeybee health.

“It’s an amazing project and an exciting project to work on and manage because it’s doing two good things at once. It’s a win-win situation. It’s helping out the soil and helping out bees,” Synk said.

When Synk speaks to growers, he mentions those two good reasons.

“Do it to help the bees that are in your orchard become stronger, and do a better job pollinating, but then also help your soil with organic matter and improved water infiltration.”

There are about two million beehives, coming to California from every corner of the United States, and the bees are very hungry.

“Not only are they very hungry, they’re the hungriest they have been all year, and their most important job is to pollinate almonds. Well, if you can have a cover crop blooming before those almonds bloom, you can stimulate them a lot better and create a positive feedback loop,” Synk said.

Synk explained that as more pollen comes into the hive, they rear more bees.

“That brood has a pheromone that tell the adult bees to leave the hive and go collect pollen. That stimulation is just going to make that hive excited and strong and ready to go the day that those almonds bloom,” he said.

Contact Project Apis m for more information and to possibly get cover crop seeds to plant this season.

https://www.projectapism.org/

 

 

 

 

 

More California Ag News

Bayer’s “Grow On” Tool Pinpoints Susta... Program Segmented for Different Crops By Joanne Lui, Associate Editor Nevada Smith of Sacramento is a marketing manager for Bayer Crop Science’s Wes...
Almond Board’s Sustainability Program Gets Even Be... Almond Board Program Streamlined By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor The Almond Board has set a new standard for the Ag industry, according to Joe...
The Latest Buzz in ‘RoboBee’ Research Thanks to recent headway in RoboBee research and development, these mechanized pollinators could be headed to a greenhouse near you soon. Guest E...
New Aerial Images to Help Almond Farmers Aerial Image Tools Help Almond Irrigation By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director Aerial images of orchards can effectively tell farmers which al...

Bayer CropScience Gives $100,000 to Sponsor Project Apis m.’s Honey Bee Forage Program

Every year, more than 1.7 million honey bee colonies are brought to California’s Central Valley to pollinate the vast expanses of almond orchards. Many bees arrive in the fall when little is in bloom to escape their native cold temperatures in anticipation of the world’s largest pollination event.

Prior to and after the almond orchard’s bloom in late winter and spring, there is a shortage of food to help the bees survive. Bees’ food consists of nectar and pollen gathered from blooming plants.

To help address the pre- and post-bloom food challenge, Bayer CropScience is giving $100,000 to Project Apis m., a nonprofit organization dedicated to better bee health through its work with growers. Project Apis m. will use the funds to provide seed mixes to growers in California and Washington who have agreed to plant cover crops for honey bees before and after almond bloom and other key seasons. The project will help build a healthier bee population to support crop pollination nationwide as bee colonies are transported to other states for other growing seasons.

“This initiative is a direct response to the lack of adequate forage needed to keep honey bees healthy and thriving,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP North America. “In 2015, Bayer CropScience is committed to research and partnerships that will make a positive impact on honey bees.”

Bayer’s expanded partnership with Project Apis m. will complement its joint field research projects conducted on fence rows near almond orchards at Bayer’s Western Bee Care Technology Station in Fresno, California. Findings from Bayer’s research with Project Apis m. show that forage plantings also can have benefits for growers.

If growers allow forage plantings adjacent to fields, rather than planting from fence row to fence row, they can reduce the loss of irrigation water, better manage soil quality and weeds, and help support wildlife, including pollinators. Local growers and landowners will plant the provided seeds on land with crops and on nearby plots to help ensure direct benefit to them and nearby bee colonies.

“With funding from Bayer, Project Apis m. will be able to work with growers to plant more acres of honey bee habitat right where it can be accessed by honey bees before the almond crop’s first bloom around Valentine’s Day,” said Christi Heintz, executive director of Project Apis m. and liaison to the Almond Board of California’s Bee Task Force. “Additionally, with Bayer’s help from its Fresno Research Station, we know the best plant species and mixes to use to feed bees and save them from starving.”

Project Apis m. will work with almond and other growers to get commitments for cover crops that will be planted in Fall 2015.

 

More California Ag News

BIG WATER RALLY SCHEDULED FOR JAN. 16! Thousands Needed To Participate In Big Water Rally on Jan. 16  
Solano County 4-H Clubs Win Big at Skills Day When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemon Curd! Showmanship winner Tyler Scott of the Wolfskill 4-H Club DIXON--Tyler Scott of the...
California Ag News UC To Help Ranchers UC to Help Ranchers Survive Winter 2013-14 The first agricultural operations to feel the impact of a drought are dryland ranchers, many of whom r...
MONTEREY FARM BUREAU WARNS CPUC ON WATER ISSUES Desalination Plant Could Jeopardize Groundwater Supply California American Water could threaten the ground water supply of the Salinas Valley where u...

UC Davis Wins Debate Refuting Neonicotinoid Ban

By Kathy Keatley Garvey; UC-Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology

Should the agricultural use of neonicotinoids be banned?

A team of entomology graduate students from the University of California, Davis, successfully argued at the Entomological Society of America’s recent student debates that a ban on the insecticides in agriculture “will not improve pollinator health or restore populations, based on current science. Neonicotinoids are important for control of many significant agricultural and veterinary pests. Part of the solution is to develop better regulations that will protect the health of pollinators and retain the use of an important IPM tool.”

UC Davis won the debate, defeating Auburn University, Alabama, and then went on to win the overall ESA student debate championship for the second consecutive year.

“Neonicotinoids are important for control of many significant agricultural and veterinary pests,” team captain Mohammad-Amir Aghaee said at the onset. “Part of the solution is to develop better regulations that will protect the health of pollinators and retain the use of an important IPM (integrated pest management) tool.” The team also argued successfully that neonicotinoids (also known as neonics) are not all “created equal.”

The insecticide, chemically similar to nicotine, is implicated in the mass die-off of pollinators.  The European Union recently adopted a proposal to restrict the use of three pesticides belonging to the nenicotinoid family (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam) for a period of two years.  In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that by January 2016, it will ban the use of seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides and the use of crops improved through biotechnology throughout the 150 million acres managed by the National Wildlife Refuge System.

ESA officials chose the debate topic and assigned UC Davis to debate the “con” side and Auburn University, the “pro” side. The Auburn team argued that neonicotinoids are causing the death of bees essential for pollinating our food crops, and that the use of neonicotinoids should end. The debates took place at ESA’s 62nd annual meeting, held in Portland, Ore.

The UC Davis team cited three main points:

  • Pesticides are IMPORTANT tools used in modern agriculture
  • Neonicotinoids were registered as reduced risk pesticide to replace the organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids
  • Banning neonicotinoids would increase of use of pesticides that have known non-target effects

One of the several swaying arguments that led to UC Davis winning the debate was that not all neonics are created equal, and thus, they should not all be lumped together as “an equal” and all be banned.

 

More California Ag News

BIG WATER RALLY SCHEDULED FOR JAN. 16! Thousands Needed To Participate In Big Water Rally on Jan. 16  
Solano County 4-H Clubs Win Big at Skills Day When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemon Curd! Showmanship winner Tyler Scott of the Wolfskill 4-H Club DIXON--Tyler Scott of the...
California Ag News UC To Help Ranchers UC to Help Ranchers Survive Winter 2013-14 The first agricultural operations to feel the impact of a drought are dryland ranchers, many of whom r...
MONTEREY FARM BUREAU WARNS CPUC ON WATER ISSUES Desalination Plant Could Jeopardize Groundwater Supply California American Water could threaten the ground water supply of the Salinas Valley where u...

June 16 – 22 is Pollinator Week!

Pollinator Week was initiated and is managed by the Pollinator Partnership.

Seven years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. 

Pollinator Week has now grown to be an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. The growing concern for pollinators is a sign of progress, but it is vital that we continue to maximize our collective effort.  The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture signs the proclamation every year.

The Pollinator Partnership is proud to announce that June 16-22, 2014 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Interior.

The Pollinator Partnership is also proud to announce that June 16-22, 2014 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Pollinating animals, including bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and others, are vital to our delicate ecosystem, supporting terrestrial wildlife, providing healthy watershed, and more. Therefore, Pollinator Week is a week to get the importance of pollinators’ message out to as many people as possible.

It’s not too early to start thinking about an event at your school, garden, church, store, etc. Pollinators positively effect all our lives- let’s SAVE them and CELEBRATE them!

For more information, please visit pollinator.org

More California Ag News

BIG WATER RALLY SCHEDULED FOR JAN. 16! Thousands Needed To Participate In Big Water Rally on Jan. 16  
Solano County 4-H Clubs Win Big at Skills Day When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemon Curd! Showmanship winner Tyler Scott of the Wolfskill 4-H Club DIXON--Tyler Scott of the...
California Ag News UC To Help Ranchers UC to Help Ranchers Survive Winter 2013-14 The first agricultural operations to feel the impact of a drought are dryland ranchers, many of whom r...
MONTEREY FARM BUREAU WARNS CPUC ON WATER ISSUES Desalination Plant Could Jeopardize Groundwater Supply California American Water could threaten the ground water supply of the Salinas Valley where u...