Monday, March 5, 2018

Monthly Meeting Tue Mar 13 6:00 pm - Formic Pro pest treatment info

Tom Nolan - Sales rep. for NOD Apiary Products Ltd. in Ontario, Canada will be stopping by to talk about their new Formic Pro varroa mite pest product treatment.  He will have a short video presentation and open discussion about our bee problems here in Hawaii.  Tom will share his experiences working with his bees and what he has seen as a sales rep. for North America territory.

Meeting at Kamana Senior Center, 127 Kamana St, Hilo HI

6:00 PM for Pupu Potluck, followed by our meeting at 6:30.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Are Managed hives helping to decrease wild bee populations?

Link to article in Bee Culture the online magazine of American Beekeeping.  A consideration about over competition and disease transfer from managed hives may be affecting wild pollinators.

Friday, February 9, 2018

How to make Honey Mead @ BIBA monthly meeting

Where: Kamana Senior Center,  124 Kamana St.   Hilo  HI
When: Feb 13, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm
Discussion Topic: Honey Mead – how to make it.
Open to the public.  Come and learn about Bees, beekeeping, and
how important bees are to our food supply.

Pupu potluck starts at 6:00 PM followed by a brief business meeting at 6:30 PM.
The evenings presentation will follow our tending to the short business details for the association.
Tonight’s presentation & discussion will be about how Mead is prepared.  Members can arrange for an offsite sampling of Mead.

Contacts Name: Jim Klyman
Contacts Ph. No.: 805-339-BIBA (2422)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

American Foul Brood; a cure on the horizon

Dear Hawaiian Beekeepers, Our conference March 16, 17, and 18, 2018 in Cheyenne, Wyoming is a long distance from you, but may have topics of interest.

One of those topics is, American Foul Brood; a cure on the horizon, no more bonfires.
The instructor for this topic, Dr. Hope is doing research on a new treatment for American Foulbrood that kills the infectious bacteria using phages.  Phages are a type of virus that can only infect bacteria.  Dr. Hope has isolated specific phages that kill Paenibacillus larvae, the bacteria responsible for American Foulbrood.  She studies the phages in lab cultures from hive samples and has worked with beekeepers with infected hives to determine the efficacy of the phages to prevent spread or cure a hive from infection.  Her data is exciting and she is in the process of getting FDA approval to make the phages available to the general public.  Dr. Hope will share information about phages and her current research.

See schedule at:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Beekeeping in Hilo ? Councilwoman E. O'Hara at Dec 12 meeting

Councilwoman Eileen O'Hara, who represents the fourth district in Puna, will be a guest speaker at our December 12 Christmas potluck meeting next Tuesday

She will be addressing the current county zoning code and ordinance that determine on this island where we can and cannot keep bees.

She will also share information on how we can effect legislative change should we want to do this. 

As most of us know, many beekeepers in Hilo must keep bees under the radar (and by the good graces of their neighbors!)  It would be great if everybody could come out in the open, to be able to practice bee husbandry without fear of repercussions. 

Please join in on our Christmas potluck to learn what we can do to improve the life of our island beekeepers. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Holiday Potluck & Meeting on Dec. 12th

BIBA Holiday Potluck Meeting
Where: Kamana Senior Center - 124 Kamana St. Hilo HI
Topic: When and How to split your hive.
Who: All are welcome...
When: 6:00 PM starts our Holiday Potluck

Open to the public. Come and learn about Bees, beekeeping, starting your own hive, plant pollination, and honey harvesting tips.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

News from the world of beekeeping

News from the world of beekeeping - Western Apicultural Society Journal 

From (Entomology Today)  By Meredith Swett Walker

American foulbrood (AFB) is a bacterial disease afflicting honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies. The Paenibacillus larvae bacterium germinates in the gut of a honey bee larva; dead larvae often decompose into a brown, gooey substance. New research suggests certain analogs to a molecule called indole may be useful in blocking the bacteria’s germination.

AFB, is caused by the Paenibacillus larvae bacterium, a difficult-to-control and highly destructive pathogen found worldwide. In a study published last week in the open-access Journal of Insect Science, Israel Alvarado, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), explore whether blocking the germination of P. larvae spores is an effective way to treat this infection.
One of the primary reasons P. larvae is so difficult to control is the bacterium’s ability to become dormant and form a spore by developing a thicker, protective cell wall that allows it to withstand extreme environmental conditions. P. larvae spores can remain in a dormant state for up to 70 years before “germinating,” or becoming active and infectious again. Spores are resistant to high temperatures, dry conditions, many harsh chemicals and treatment with antibiotics. They only germinate when they find themselves in the gut of a honey bee (Apis mellifera) larva. Upon germination, P. larvae begins reproducing and kills the larva in a few days.
But what if you could prevent P. larvae spores from germinating? If you could identify the event or factor that triggers germination and block it, you could prevent infection. Alvarado and other researchers in the lab of Ernesto Abel-Santos, Ph.D., had used this approach to prevent the germination of other bacteria including Clostridium difficile, which causes a debilitating and difficult-to-control gastrointestinal infection in humans.
Abel-Santos got the idea to try this approach on P. larvae during a bout of insomnia. “I was watching TV at 3 a.m. when I came across a documentary about the problems facing honey bees. One of the most dramatic things they showed was the burning of colonies contaminated with AFB. Next day, I called Professor Michelle Elekonich, an expert in honey bees at UNLV, and started throwing ideas around.”
Previous research on bacterial spores had shown that germination is triggered when specific molecules, called “agonists,” bind to a special receptor molecule on the cell membrane that surrounds the spore. The agonist acts like a key sliding into a lock, causing the lock to turn, and allowing the door to open, or in this case allowing the spore to germinate. One way to prevent this is to use an “antagonist,” a molecule that binds to the receptor but does not trigger germination. An antagonist is like the wrong key for the lock. You may be able to insert it into the keyhole, but it doesn’t turn the lock. Then, it gets stuck in the lock so that you can’t pull it out and use the correct key, or agonist. Now you cannot open the door or, in this case, germinate.

Research in the Abel-Santos lab showed that the molecules indole and phenol act as weak antagonists for P. larvae‘s germination receptor. In the research reported in Journal of Insect Science, the researchers tested a variety of indole and phenol analogs (molecules very similar, but not identical, in structure to indole and phenol) in the hope of finding a stronger antagonist. Their tests determined that 5-chloroindole was an effective antagonist. This compound was not toxic to the bee larva, but it inhibited P. larvae spore germination and bacterial proliferation in vitro. When bee larvae were fed a diet containing 5-chloroindole, they were better able to survive exposure to P. larvae spores.
Alvarado and his colleagues’ work has shown that 5-chloroindole could prove an effective treatment to prevent AFB in honey bee colonies. An alternative to the antibiotics currently used is needed because these drugs can harm beneficial bacteria in bee larvae guts. In addition, some strains of P. larvae are evolving resistance to antibiotic drugs.
Still, much works needs to be done before beekeepers can start using 5-chloroindole. A practical method to get 5-chloroindole to the larvae must be developed—for instance, as a food supplement for the colony. In addition, researchers must determine how long 5-chloroindole persists in the wax and honey stored by a treated colony. Nevertheless, it is a promising development in the battle against AFB. If the researchers find continued success, beekeepers may soon be armed with a more effective, less drastic treatment for AFB, and fewer bee hives will be sent to the burn pile.
From Journal of Insect Science, reprinted at