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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Monday, May 02, 2011

Stonehurst Place Bees Participate in UGA Research

Today our bustling hives at Stonehurst Place began participation in a research project at UGA run by Victor O. Victor came by to collect a sample of about 300 bees from the hives.  His research is about IPM hive management.  I'll know more about it as the project goes forward.  Right now, we provide a bee sample.  Later I have to answer about a 45 minute questionnaire about IPM (Integrated Pest management).

Before he came, I opened the top (in my business clothes with no bee stuff - I borrowed Caroline, the innkeeper's, veil and a hive tool). I could see that they were full and built out in the second box so I added a third box to each hive.

The first hive was fine - after all, I only took off the inner cover and added the box - no other interference. However hive two took revenge and I got stings between my thumb and fingers on my right hand and in the palm of my left hand.



Victor planned to take bees from a honey frame so he lifted the first frame out of the second box.



He used an alcohol-filled cup as a sample collector. There are so many bees in this hive that he was able to collect all 300 bees from this frame alone.

These sample bees will be tested for nosema and a few other diseases.  He is interested in beekeepers like me who use no poison in their hives.



Isn't their comb pretty? This frame even looks like I failed to wax in a starter strip!



In the end around 300 bees gave their lives to alcohol and science and Victor went on his way. Part of the research includes my participation in taking about a 45 minute survey and then allowing a second collection later on - I think at the end of the summer.



To respond to the comment below, I don't know any more about his research than was in his letter sent to request participation.  I'm certainly willing to contribute to any effort to learn more about honey bee health and since I practice a no-chemical IPM approach, I'd love to know about the health of my bees (or lack thereof) as a result.  Here's what he wrote:

"As part of our involvement in the Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) http://www.beeccdcap.uga.edu/, the UGA bee lab is looking to collect data on the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Georgia and its effects on honey bee health. Based on the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association’s (MABA) reputation as a key proponent of bees, we would like to offer MABA members the opportunity to participate in this research. We are looking for 15 highly committed volunteers. Participants will be asked to participate in an annual on-line survey reporting their management practices and measures of hive productivity and submit biennial bee samples for pathogen analysis. In addition to the benefit of having healthier bees, involvement in this project could be used to satisfy subspecialty requirements in the UGA/Young Harris College (YHC) Master Beekeeper Program. We will begin the first phase of this project in April.  Please respond to this e-mail and let us know if you will be able to assist us by participating in this research. Thank you in advance for your invaluable help in this initiative."
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