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SUSTAINABLE SURVIVOR QUEENBEES A conscientious and practical approach to establishing a quality resource for regionally hearty honeybee stock Chosen by.

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Presentation on theme: "SUSTAINABLE SURVIVOR QUEENBEES A conscientious and practical approach to establishing a quality resource for regionally hearty honeybee stock Chosen by."— Presentation transcript:

1 SUSTAINABLE SURVIVOR QUEENBEES A conscientious and practical approach to establishing a quality resource for regionally hearty honeybee stock Chosen by Beekeepers for Beekeepers

2 Who We Are Superior Honey Farms + Zia Queenbee Company Mark Spitzig from the Lake Superior shores Upper Peninsula of Michigan Melanie Kirby from the Land of Enchantment New Mexico, USA

3 From Honey Production To Queenbee Rearing Establishing A Sustainable and Cooperative Beekeeping Operation

4 THE SOUTHWEST SURVIVOR QUEENBEE PROJECT Microclimatic Diversity

5 Incorporating holistic methods adds value to our commodities: Promotes local, regional, national and global sustainability; While also recognizing responsibility and reverence for our natural resources, environment and landscape heritage. Sustainable Queens By selecting and breeding off of Regionally fortified Survivor stock, Beekeepers will expend less financially while incorporating sound, quality genetics into their livestock management.

6 *A practical approach *Networking of area beekeepers *Establishing a reliable resource for quality livestock *Routine introduction of diverse national stock *Thrive and survive test ( thru min. 2 winters) *Regionally selected survivor stock: Honeybees chosen by Beekeepers by Beekeepers

7 A PRACTICAL APPROACH Visit And 2007: Phase 1 Zia Queenbee Co. P.O. Box 490 Dixon, NM Tel: 505/  Initial Southwest Survivor Queenbee Project set-up in New Mexico  Participation by 6 individual professional beekeepers from 6 different counties ranging from South to North (400 mile range) and from 3,900 feet to 9,000 feet elevation  Technical advisor: NMDA Bee Inspector

8 2007 CAST OF CHARACTERS Professional Beekeeper LocationNominated Breeder(s) Les Crowder Sparrow Hawk Farm Sabinal (4600’ elevation) Carniolan- Russian X: Sabinal Ken Hays/ Hays Honey and Apple Farm Bosque Farms (4800’) Truth or Consequences (4200’) Blue Russian and Italian Crosses: Supergirls 1 and 2 Steve Wall Buckin’ Bee Santa Fe (7,000’ ) Italians: Heidi & Edith Ed Costanza A Bee Honey Co. Edgewood & Belen (6500’) (4800’) Italian Swarm X: LuLu Jason Goodhue Taos Honey Trader Taos (9,000 elevation) Italian X: Natural Beauty Mark Spitzig & Melanie Kirby Zia Queenbee Co. &Superior Honey Farms Las Cruces (3900’) Dixon (6000’) Penasco (8900’) U.P. of Michigan (650’) Survivor SMR&NWC: Harlow, Chrysalis, Imani, Jasmine, Ital, M. Superior, Ilya, Cholla Irie, Charlotte Gem Heiki SW Cross-stocks: Povi, Capilla, Izzy

9 Honeybees chosen by Beekeepers for Beekeepers Steve Wall of Buckin’ Bee (Santa Fe) displays a graft of his Italian breeder queen Edith. These queen cells will mate with ZQB drones. Jason Goodhue and his daughter Angelina of World Famous Taos Honey shares future stock with Mark Les Crowder of Sparrow Hawk Farm and Top Bar Ecoversity fame reviews larva for upcoming cross-stock graft Derrick Maness (left) of Wild Mountain Honey in Colorado, takes a break from grafting. Derrick grafted his first Survivor Queens (Harlow F ₁ ) in July 2007!

10 WHAT WE KNOW WHAT TO DO  We know that particular races are more pest/disease resistant while others may be more susceptible to certain afflictions.  It is true that “bottle-necking” of honeybee genetics here in the USA has been and will continue to be a problem and threat to the apiculture and agriculture industries nationwide without increasing availability to genetically diversified quality stock.

11 PROMOTION  By respecting Mother Nature’s cycles and creating systems in which livestock is managed conscientiously, a livelihood of quality is maintained.  Promoting healthy agricultural practices enhances quality of life for all  As Stewards of our Lands, Resources and Health, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE BE PROACTIVE IN RESEARCHING AND IMPLEMENTING RESPECTFUL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND TECHNIQUES.

12 CRUCIAL QUEEN REARING CONCEPTS SELECTING for GENETIC VARIABLES:  High Production  Pest/Disease Resistance  Hygienics  Gentleness  Longevity: 2 year “Thrive and Survive” regiment  Open mating variables  Diverse Survivor Drone Breeder Saturation  Queen Fecundity/Promiscuity  Diverse Sister and Sub-Sister Families

13 SELECTING BREEDER QUEENS New Mexico Dept. of Agriculture Bureau of Entomology and Nursery Industries Assistant Bureau Chief, Mr. Greg Watson serves as our technical advisor. He is also the NM State Bee Inspector. Here with Mark, he inspects Breeder colonies and hive temperament. Mark displays grafted cells of Breeder Lulu from Ed Costanza of A Bee Honey Co. Melanie grafting from Varroa resistant stock

14 Conscientious Mating Conditions Mating Nuc Size- Extended period of non-disturbance- Diverse Drone Stock Saturation

15 Some Interesting Research Cornell University (2007, July 20). Genetic Diversity In Honeybee Colonies Boosts Productivity. /releases/2007/07/ htm Public Library of Science (2007, October 10). For Honey Bee Queens, Multiple Mating Makes Her Attractive To Workers. /releases/2007/10/ htm Cornell University (2006, December 11). Queen Bee Promiscuity Boosts Hive Health. /releases/2006/12/ htm

16 2008: Phase 2  Extend invitation to similar zones: Colorado, Utah, Idaho  Evaluate 2007 Cross-Stocks and begin 2008 Cross-Stocking  Consultations requested from various institutions for Phase 3 development

17 2009: Phase 3  Open mated Survivor Cross-Stocks and II SW Survivor Breeders are made available to participants and the greater public as well as to queen producers  Share 2007 Initiated Cross-Stock Breeders interstate with regional queen producers.  Advanced Protocols requested involving national bee laboratories and researchers

18 A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP

19 NETWORK In ACTION NETWORKING= FARMERS+RESEARCHERS+INSTITUTIONS By sharing information and implementing practical plans and techniques, we promote the healthy sustainability and longevity of American agriculture while also revitalizing our individual farm industries

20 SHARING EDUCATION Through Cooperative Extension and development, project design incorporates scientific inquiry and analysis while promoting Applied Research directly affecting farmers in the field. Verbalizing vital needs and assessments, Farmers share and teach Scientists. Through Applied Research, Scientists educate Farmers.

21 An Integrative Approach CONSCIENTIOUS BEEKEEPING: Beekeepers Initiative Finding Balance With Modern Science Natural Systems and the Real World As Stewards of our Lands, Resources and Health, it is imperative for us to be proactive in researching and implementing sustainable management practices and techniques to better secure our industry and our livelihoods.

22 Become true Bee-Stewards Practice Pro-Active Management Keep Researching, Reading and Sharing Role and Chosen Responsibility of Beekeeper: Understand our role, and our limitations while respecting natural cycles.

23 An Integrative Approach Whether working with a horizontal or vertical system, unforgettable key notions include: Regardless of container, the beings therein are alive & constitute an organism; a.k.a. LIVE-STOCK, and should be managed conscientiously.

24 “Natural” Beekeeping?  Means practicing conscientious management: acknowledging and complimenting Mother Nature’s own cycles  Natural does not equal “hands off” attitude  Maximizing Mother Nature’s own cycles while respecting health of honeybee livestock  If opposed to supplemental feeding, then it is responsibility of beekeeper to move their colonies to suitable forage.  Timely management is recommended  If bees fall ill, responsibility of beekeeper to research and implement safe methods for control Care should be taken to neither ignore contaminate your honeybee livestock; to not compromise their nutrition and to not contaminate their hive products.

25 “Organic” Reality? Location Equipment Environmental and Industrial Factors While we keep our bees in as many “Organically Certified” farms as possible- We do not claim our honey to be “Organic”. We have control over what we add to the bees. Yet, we do not have complete control over where they fly. Thus, unless one is completely isolated and there are no environmental contaminants in the air, in the water, in the soil, on the plants, and in their hive- then the term “Organic” should not apply. However, the term “Natural” definitely does.

26 Integration is shaped by Attitude Many Paths, Many Teachers Mother Nature, the Honeybees themselves and other beekeepers History and Research Past-Present-Future The Langstroth system is over 150 years old. What is modern is our thinking. Circumstance Personal Preference REMINDER: regardless of container, the way we manage and respect the organism contained is what is vital. Let us work together to become true Bee-Stewards within both systems.

27 THE MELTING POT True beauty is in our diversity. Being a Purist is negotiable-each has their own definition, whether you agree or not. While perpetuating simple methods, it is also pure to promote efficiency rather than redundancy Holistic management defines itself as: relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

28 Many Spices- ONE MAIN INGREDIENT The state question in New Mexico is, “Red or Green chile?” Some opt for one or the other and then there are those of us who request both (also termed as “Christmas” or “Rainbow”) Beekeeping is a creative art in that there are many paths of this animal husbandry. Finding a mode of operation that works for you and your bees will be unique. Like most things, success through moderation does apply. By not boxing yourself into one type or kind of system and management; and remaining flexible, and open, and inspired, interchange and cooperation can occur.

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30 Practicing pro-active supplementation can enhance the immune systems of honeybees while also providing balanced nutrition. Many of us take vitamins or herbs to supplement our diet- the same principles can be applied to animal husbandry. Top bar hive body with screen bottom for Varroa Mite control and ventilation A home recipe pollen patty was given to the bees along with a Coconut grease patty containing essential oils in the bottom of a Top bar hive.

31 The DOWDA method Application of Powdered Sugar with the use of a screened bottom. Mechanical Varroa Mite Control Method in TB  One can use a sticky board underneath to get a mite count. The screened bottom can then be sealed or diminished in size by closing off with a piece of wood (from underneath) to avoid drying of brood (arid climates) and in winter.  We use a mix of 4:1 powder sugar to garlic powder  Space Top Bars apart and shift enough powdered sugar to fully coat all the bees  This method of Varroa mite control does not control mites in sealed brood.  This can be used when needed and also as part of routine Fall/Spring management.

32 Top Bar “Nursery” in a Langstroth Box - box courtesy of Rosy Verdile, Christ in the Desert Monastery Recycled pieces of Duragild and Pierco used Adds to straightness and sturdiness of the comb built for ease of transport and for strengthened brood frames. The recycled pieces are attached to 19” l x ½” w wooden top bars in halves so as to accommodate their removal and re-attachment to diversely sized top bars and top bar hive bodies. The recycled Pierco strips are screwed into the top bar and can be unscrewed The recycled duragild is attached with beeswax to the Pierco strip to extend the comb “guide”

33 What is ZIA? Four is the sacred number of the Zia Pueblo sun symbol and can be found repeated in the four points radiating from the circle. North- South- East- West Infancy, Youth, Adult & Elder Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter Dawn, Day, Dusk & Night ZQB believes that with life comes four sacred obligations one must develop: a strong body…to lift honey boxes a clear mind… after 18 hours work a pure spirit…to endure the sticky sweet stings and a devotion …to the welfare of honeybees

34 A Little Background “Beekeeping is truly a humbling profession for me. I am routinely inspired by my many mentors: the honeybees, Mother Nature and numerous beekeeping and non-beekeeping acquaintances. The mystery is the allure-” Melanie M. Kirby United States Peace Corps Agriculture Sector Beekeeping Extensionist Volunteer- Paraguay S.A. Center for Human Potential (CHP) 2003 Beekeeping Extensionist Technical Trainer – Paraguay S.A. Commercial Beekeeping Experience Hawaiian Queen Big Island, HI (2000) Kona Queen Big Island, HI ( ) Honey Land Farms Florida (2005) Zia Queenbee Co. & Superior Honey Farms (2005-present day) Tel: 505/ Let us learn from each other and continue to share beekeeping!


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