Honey bee experts at UC Davis and Oregon State University (OSU) will teach the comprehensive, asynchronous course, "Honey Bees and Beekeeping for Veterinarians." Registration is now underway at http://www.wifss.ucdavis.edu/beevets/. The course is intended for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, apiculture educators, apiary inspectors and beekeepers in California and Oregon. Participants are encouraged to register today; the course will be available only until June 30, 2020.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) addresses antibiotic resistance and antimicrobial use in the feed or water of food-producing animals. The VFD implementation aims to ensure the judicious use of antimicrobials, and to minimize the impact of their use in colonies.
This means that beekeepers now need to establish a veterinarian-client-patient relationship to obtain the antibiotics they need to manage foulbrood and other microbial diseases, according to the course instructors.
The training is being offered by the laboratory of Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño, affiliated with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources; the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; and OSU.
Course authors and developers are the Western Institute for Food and Security (WIFSS), UC Davis; Elina Niño and Bernardo Niño; Jonathan Dear, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and Ramesh Saglii, OSU's Honey Bee Laboratory.
Instructors said that participants, upon completion of the course, will be able to:
- Describe the importance of honey bees
- Explain the veterinarian's role in commercial beekeeping
- Recognize distinguished characteristics of honey bees
- Recognize specialized beekeeping equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Recognize the components of a hive inspection
- Describe honey bee immunity against pathogens, pests and diseases
- Describe common pests and diseases that may impact honey bees
- Describe how the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) governs the use of antimicrobial drugs in apiculture
Honey bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of the American diet. They pollinate such specialty crops as apples, melons, cranberries, pumpkins, squash, broccoli, and almonds. However, annual honey bee colony losses are high due to a variety of environmental and biological causes, including bacterial diseases. Historically, beekeepers have self-prescribed antibiotics to control these diseases.
Funding for the development of the “Honey Bees and Beekeeping for Veterinarians” course was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Multi-State Program through an agreement between the California Department of Food and Agriculture and The Regents of the University of California, Davis (agreement number 17-0727-001-SF).
Carlson made his first batch of mead in 2009 while living in Tucson, Ariz. "I've also been brewing beer on and off for the last decade. I am excited to share my most recent mead brewing experiences which have focused on single source honey."
"I'm from a family of biologists and naturalists," Carlson related. "I was helping my father (an endangered fish specialist) sample freshwater fishes of New York as soon as I could walk and carry a bucket. My mother was a public school teacher specializing in environmental education. My brother and sister both have PhDs in biology and my sister specialized in pollination biology. As a result, we all enjoy physiology and monitoring native bees on our local blooms.:
- Understand honey and mead using comparative sensory analysis and other scientific tools
- Review options for sanitizing equipment
- Introduce the process of fermentation
- Engage in a honey and a mead tasting
Special guest Michael Zilber, owner and mead maker at Heidrun Meadery, Point Reyes Station, "will join us at 11:15 to share his passion and lead us in a mead tasting," said Wendy Mather, program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP).
Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty directs CAMBP, which uses science-based information to educate stewards and ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping. Its vision, as detailed on its website, is to train 2500 Apprentice beekeepers over the next five years "so they can effectively communicate the importance of honey bees and other pollinators within their communities, serve as mentors for other beekeepers, and become the informational conduit between the beekeeping communities throughout the state and UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) staff." Check out the website for upcoming courses. For more information on the program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
There's a "me" in mead. The American Mead Makers Association says mead has exploded 130 percent since 2011, making it "the fastest growing alcoholic beverage category in the United States."
And now a me-and-you mead course is buzzing our way.
The UC Davis-based California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP) has announced it will sponsor an online introduction to mead on Saturday, May 1. It's a time to learn, taste and sip--and you can do so with friends who also register for the course, says CAMBP program manager Wendy Mather.
The virtual event is set from 9 a.m. to noon. Master Beekeeper candidate Mark Carlson "will lead us in a general mead and honey appreciation class," said Mather, adding "We will leave the mead-making lessons to the experts at the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center. "Mark will identify what makes one single source honey different from another, presenting them both from a flavor perspective, but also as a scientist who loves chemistry. The emphasis will be on nectar origins and equipment sanitation for the most part." Special guest Michael Zilber, owner and mead maker at Heidrun Meadery, Point Reyes Station, "will join us at 11:15 to share his passion and lead us in a mead tasting."
The course, "Introduction to Mead 2021," is designed to:
- Understand honey and mead, using comparative sensory analysis and other scientific tools
- Review options for sanitizing equipment
- Introduce the process of fermentation, and
- Engage in a honey and a mead tasting
The event is open to the public at $40 per ticket. Register at https://registration.ucdavis.edu/Item/Details/718.
Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty directs the California Master Beekeeper Program, which uses science-based information to educate stewards and ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping. Its vision, as detailed on its website, is to train 2500 Apprentice beekeepers over the next five years "so they can effectively communicate the importance of honey bees and other pollinators within their communities, serve as mentors for other beekeepers, and become the informational conduit between the beekeeping communities throughout the state and UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) staff." Check out the website for upcoming courses. For more information on the program, contact email@example.com.
"Honey bees contribute nearly $20 billion to the value of U.S. crop production," according to the American Beekeeping Federation's Pollination Facts. "This contribution, made by managed honey bees, comes in the form of increased yields and superior quality crops for growers and American consumers. A healthy beekeeping industry is invaluable to a healthy U.S. agricultural economy. As honey bees gather pollen and nectar for their survival, they pollinate crops such as apples, cranberries, melons and broccoli. Some crops, including blueberries and cherries, are 90-percent dependent on honey bee pollination. One crop, almonds, depends entirely on the honey bee for pollination at bloom time."
CAMPF, launched and directed by Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, sought to raise funds for its science-based Beekeeper's Apprentice course, described as "educational, engaging and entertaining for all ages." (The month-long crowdfunding is over but you can still donate to CAMPF here.)
As CAMBP says on its website: "The California Master Beekeeper Program is a continuous train-the-trainer effort. The CAMBP's vision is to train 2500 Apprentice beekeepers over the next 5 years so they can effectively communicate the importance of honey bees and other pollinators within their communities, serve as mentors for other beekeepers, and become the informational conduit between the beekeeping communities throughout the state and UCCE (UC Cooperative Extension) staff."
"Participants have the opportunity to receive an outstanding California-centric science-based education, and are current on the latest studies on honey bees and beekeeping, which are constantly evolving. Researched-based apiculture training helps to minimize potentially disastrous consequences, such as increased pest and pathogen transfer, or the spread of overly defense honey bees, which are considered a public-health risk. Our mission is to use science-based information to educate stewards and ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping."
Like to enroll in a Master Beekeeper course? Check out the website for more information. You can also contact CAMPF at firstname.lastname@example.org; Niño at email@example.com or program manager Wendy Mather at firstname.lastname@example.org or other team members at https://cambp.ucdavis.edu/people.
Meanwhile, even honey bees can "high five."/span>
The bee world exemplifies diversity and the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Month, being celebrated throughout the month of February, wouldn't exemplify diversity without them.
One of the pre-recorded presentations just uploaded on the Biodiversity Museum site deals with bees in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's bee garden, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.
The presentation, by bee garden manager Christine Casey, is an introduction to common bees found in urban gardens of Central California.
Many people are unaware that there are some 20,000 species of bees worldwide. Of that number, 4000 species are found in North America and 1600 species in California.
The late Robbin Thorp (1933-2019), UC Davis distinguished emeritus professor of entomology, was the go-to person to identify bees, and we all miss him. Thorp, a member of the UC Davis entomology faculty for 30 years, from 1964-1994, achieved emeritus status in 1994 but continued to engage in research, teaching and public service until a few weeks before his death at age 85. A tireless advocate of pollinator species protection and conservation, Thorp was known for his expertise, dedication and passion in protecting native pollinators, especially bumble bees, and for his teaching, research and public service. He was an authority on pollination ecology, ecology and systematics of honey bees, bumble bees, vernal pool bees, conservation of bees, native bees and crop pollination, and bees of urban gardens and agricultural landscapes.
In his retirement, Thorp co-authored two books Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide (Princeton University, 2014) and California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists (Heyday, 2014). Locally, he was active in research projects and open houses at the Bohart Museum of Entomology and the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. In his research, he monitored bees in the half-acre haven, establishing a baseline in 2008, a year before the garden was installed. He eventually detected more than 80 species of bees in the garden.
Casey's presentation, billed as "Bees 101," documents some of the bees found in the garden, with colorful photos by the talented Allan Jones of Davis. Access the presentation at https://youtu.be/5KLrTIclx2A. Casey also will be delivering a live talk, with questions and answers, from 12:15 to 12:45 on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Click here to obtain the Zoom link.
Other UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Month live talks and demonstrations will range from Asian giant hornets (1 to 2 p.m. Feb. 18 by Professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology) to ants (11 a.m., to noon, Feb. 20 by Professor Phil Ward) to a program on the Botanical Conservatory (1 to 2 p.m., Feb. 24 by collections manager Ernesto Sandoval). To obtain the Zoom links, click here. The Botanical Conservatory presentation will be in Spanish. Sandoval earlier presented the program in English.
Note: If you'd like to donate to the UC Davis Diversity Museum Program in its crowdfunding efforts--this year is the 10th annual--click here. To donate to the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, click here. To donate to the California Master Beekeeper Program, directed by Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, click here. Niño also serves as the director of the haven.
Let's put the "bee" in bee-cause.
Meanwhile, as anyone who's been around bees knows, bees are not only absolutely fascinating, but thoroughly riveting.