First, a warning: Jessalyn, our 2013 Youth Sponsorship recipient, went out to check her bees this past weekend. Her smoker lit a sudden grass fire, feeding on the dry winterkill grasses. She’s not sure if a spark jumped out or what happened but it erupted in mere seconds. She peeled off her bee jacket as she fled to call 911.
Jessalyn is fine, other than smoke inhalation and the expected shock. Her bees were spared as they reside in a low spot where the grass was moister. The fire went right around them. Her bee suit was burned up; however, the rest of her tools were fine. The bees had been left open during the chaos and, by the time I got her message, it was an hour or two after the event. I have loaned her my bee suit for the time being so she can tend her bees.
We are hoping that her bees will not fly off. Between the surrounding fire, whatever the firefighters used to extinguish it, all of the commotion, and having been left open for an hour or two during it all, the bees may decide that their hive is not the place they want to be. Does anyone have any advice for her?
Moral of the story: Be wary! Even if you are cautious, as I know Jessalyn is, things can happen and happen quickly.
In other news, here are a few tidbits from Dale, in case you did not receive his recent emails:
Reminder re: dues:
Just a quick reminder that we need to have dues paid at our next meeting on Tuesday April 29 as I have to pay state dues for Illinois and Missouri by May 1. I also need to verify mailing address and email address for each of you. If you will not be at the meeting, please send a $16.00 check to me at the address below.
If you wish to no longer maintain your membership, please let me know by return email and I will drop you off the membership list.
A webinar tomorrow (a link to get you started):
The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development at Michigan State University is delighted to host a FREE 45-min webinar on April 22 featuring Professor Marla Spivak (University of Minnesota) on the topic of “Responding to an S..O.S from the Commercial Beekeeping Industry.”
Help shape new honey label guidelines (see link here):
US Food and Drug Administration is finally proposing enforcement of regulations regarding labeling of honey. It is currently in the comment period, so if you have an interest in making any comments or proposing and changes to the proposed rules to make to FDA, please send them to me not later than May 15 and I will write up a response to FDA. Keep in mind that Guidance Documents are NOT the actual regulations, but is guidance for industry and FDA inspectors on how to approach enforcement of the regulations .
Dale Hill, ISBA Central Region Director
Participate in the Bee Informed Survey (link here):
Have You Filled Out the Bee Informed Survey?
We need your help! The Bee Informed Partnership is conducting our annual National Honey Bee Loss and Management survey, now open through the end of April. Please take 30 minutes out of your busy day to complete the surveys.
Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! This week, I’ll get back to typing up notes from the MO state conference. Thanks for your patience.