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The U.S. Treasury has frozen the assets of three honey businesses in Yemen - Al-Nur Honey Press, Al-Shifa Honey Press and Al-Hamati sweets bakeries - among 39 groups and individuals with alleged terrorist links. Yemen's government has since clamped its own asset freeze on Al-Nur and Al-Shifa. Bin Laden's own honey connections reach to Sudan, where he owned a honey factory, the International al-Ikhlas Company, according to court transcripts of testimony by a former bin Laden associate during the U.S. embassy bombing trial. The spread-out nature of the honey business makes it ideal for providing cover to a terrorist network composed of lots of tiny cells across the Middle East and the world, terrorism experts said. "The reason for using honey is it's not just an unusual commodity to export," said Gale, a University of Pennsylvania professor and expert on international terrorism. "It goes all over the world."
A map of the areas of the known AHB quarantine zone is provided at http://agnews.tamu.edu/bees/quaran.htm.
The article also states that because of AHB, mites, and diseases, professional pest controllers are less likely to find beekeepers willing to collect the bees for them. Langston suggests using a solution of one-half to one cup of dishwashing liquid to one gallon of water to treat a honey bee swarm. Starting at the top, mist the bees with the solution, taking care to wet the ones that have fallen to the ground, as well. If they have swarmed on a tree branch, Langston notes that you can then take a black trash bag and slowly put it up around the bees. Close the bag, cut the branch and tie the bag. Then, place the bag on the ground and the bees will be dead in about 40 minutes (although it's also advised that you spray the soapy solution on the bag, in case the bees start chewing through the bag).
"We don't recommend that you use any pesticide on them, because if you do, they'll get upset, bust out and disperse," Langston notes. "With soap and water, they don't feel threatened." It is further suggested that although you may have knocked down most of the population, there may still be foragers and scouts out there. You'll need to come back around dusk to get the nest.
Scott Camazine, an entomologist at Penn State University, isn't convinced that varroa mites are the real culprit in the bee kills. He acknowledges that the mites do adversely affect bee development, but he suspects that they are also triggering a fatal epidemic of viral disease. "Mites are known to carry viruses and other pathogens, causing a condition known as parasitic mite syndrome," Camazine says. The major thrust of his research is to examine the interactions between bees, mites, and viruses. "Ten years ago, we knew that mites decreased the lifespan of honeybees. Today, we often see entire colonies collapse in late fall. Mites aren't a good explanation if their only effect is to shorten the bee's lifespan," he says. One virus carried by varroa mites is known as deformed wing virus. In late August or early September, beekeepers often observe large numbers of bees crawling outside their colonies with misshapen wings, deformed legs, and shortened abdomens. Although many entomologists claim that these maladies result when varroa mites suck hemolymph from the developing bee pupae, studies by Brenda Ball at the Institute of Arable Crops Research--Rothamsted, in England, show that the misshapen bees are infected with high levels of deformed wing virus.
The other mite, the tracheal mite, is seen only as a minor pest these days. Beekeepers effectively control it with grease patties and menthol chips.
The article continues with this material: Originally, varroa mites were found only on a different species of bee, Apis cerana, in southeast Asia. They leaped to the common honeybee around the beginning of the twentieth century and from Asia traveled to Europe and South America. When the United States relaxed its strict honeybee import laws in the 1980s, the mites hitchhiked into the country and were first reported in a Wisconsin apiary in September 1987. They began to spread almost immediately, ultimately reaching all 48 contiguous states. But the real crisis didn't occur until the mid-1990s, when the rapid spread of varroa mites caused native bee colonies, which had little natural resistance to the imported parasites, to crash. Today, apiarists are again importing honeybees, this time to try to breed resistance into the vulnerable North American bees. Bees from Germany and Russia, for example, have developed a natural genetic resistance to varroa mites, and researchers hope that by mating these hardy foreign bees with native bees they can create a more resilient strain. Indeed, when scientists at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research Unit in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, bred mite-infested bees from Russia with North American honeybees, they found that mite populations in some hives decreased by as much as one-third. Mites in control hives, in which the native inhabitants were not bred with foreign bees, increased as much as fivefold. In the United States, some native bees also show natural resistance to mites. By breeding these varroa-tolerant bees, Erickson has been able to maintain bee colonies with only six or seven mites per 100 bees. He explains that it is not uncommon to find counts of 40 to 50 mites per 100 bees in heavily infested colonies and as many as 100 in moribund colonies, but most beekeepers aim for fewer than 10 mites per 100 bees. A count of five mites per 100 bees is generally enough to impact honey production, but "the loss in dollars is generally not as much as the cost of treatment," he says.
Beekeeper Christina Ainsworth and her sister helped quiet the bees, spraying them with smoke from burning pine straw. ``It helps calm them down,'' Ainsworth said. ``It makes them a little dizzy.''
"We made honey, but not as much," said Barry Hart, an employee of the Griffis Honey Co. "I think we'll have 75 percent of a normal crop." Griffis Honey, owned by Josh Griffis, has about 2,500 hives at 40 to 50 sites. The company is located in the remote logging community of Fargo, west of the Okefenokee Swamp. Hart said wildfires linked to the drought also are a big threat to beekeepers, who must be prepared to move their hives quickly. "We've had several fires burning close to our hives," Hart said. "We didn't have to move any, but there has been some danger." Bears have become another problem for the south Georgia bee industry, particularly near the Okefenokee, which is a national wildlife refuge. Sometimes even an electrified fence won't prevent hungry bears from ripping the hives apart and feasting on the honey. "Bears will go through a fence when they realize all it's going to do is shock them," Hart said. "We have a lot of damage every year."
More than 1 million Americans report allergic reactions to insect stings; about 50 people each year die from the stings. Insect sting reactions fall into two categories: immediate and delayed. Immediate reactions occur within four hours of a sting. A normal reaction consists of localized pain, swelling and skin redness, lasting for several hours, at the sting site.
Another type of immediate reaction is called a “large local reaction” because it consists of a large area of swelling surrounding the sting site. “A large local reaction can be accompanied by low grade fever, mild nausea, malaise and fatigue,” Dr. Atkins says. Treatment of local reactions in people without a history of insect sting sensitivity include aspirin for pain and ice to reduce swelling. For those with a history of large local reactions, taking an oral antihistamine (preferably nonsedating) is recommended. “A third type of immediate reaction is the most dreaded: anaphylaxis. These reactions involve multiple organ systems simultaneously and most often begin within minutes of the sting although they can occasionally begin an hour or so later.”
Common signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis are flushing, itching, hives, swelling, sneezing, runny nose, swelling of the throat, breathing difficulties, nausea, abdominal cramping, vomiting and diarrhea. In severe episodes of anaphylaxis, an irregular heartbeat and shock can occur. People who have had severe or anaphylactic reactions in the past should wear a bracelet identifying their insect sting sensitivity, be taught to self-administer injectable epinephrine, and be reminded to keep epinephrine and antihistamines available at all times. After epinephrine and antihistamines are taken following a sting, call 911.
For more information, call LUNG LINE, (800) 222-LUNG, e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit, www.nationaljewish.org.
Clan Apis Collected Editions
Written and drawn by Jay Hosler Ph.D. Published by Active Synapse. 160 pages, 7" x 10", perfect bound, full color cardstock cover, interior pages are printed on 60lb paper, black and white interior art, with an ISBN number on the back. Contains all five issues of Clan Apis plus six pages of bee facts and the six page SPX mini-comic, Killer Bee. Cover price is $15 dollars (American funds only please) plus shipping.
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The above should answer most questions about Clan Apis and Active Synapse. We here at Active Synapse are willing to work with you in any way that we can, so don't hesitate to ask. Serving our customers is our highest priority. Please keep in mind that Active Synapse is, in actuality, just two hard-working guys with limited time and funds. We might not be able to meet all of your requests, but we promise to always deal with you as fairly and as honestly as we can. We would rather have our integrity than your money (screwy, aint it?).
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"It is chaotic, an absolute mosaic," said Enrique Simo, a biologist for Unio-COAG, an association of Spanish farmers and ranchers. "No one in the government even has a map of what is growing where."
He was sponsored by the Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs, a Washington, D.C.-based, nonprofit organization that undertakes development work in eastern European countries and Africa. He was selected for the program after serving on a national bee and honey committee through the American Farm Bureau.
Piechowski, 59, was a natural choice to conduct the seminars because he has been a beekeeper nearly all of his life, said his wife, Marilyn. His father, Henry Piechowski, started Henry's Honey Farm near Redgranite. Honey from their farm is sold throughout the state. Piechowski's mission was to teach the technology-starved Ukrainian farmers the modern art of beekeeping. He said the country appears to have great agricultural potential, but a poor economy and the wrong attitude about the role honey plays in nutrition stand in the way of successful honey agribusiness.
"They eat only four to five ounces of honey per person per year because it is considered a medicine. That's one of their biggest problems. They have to get over this medicine idea and realize it's a good food," Piechowski said. The soil in Ukraine is rich and fertile, but Piechowski said he was amazed by the poor living and farming conditions, and the lack of equipment and other resources.
``Remember back in the United States when you were a kid living in a rural area? You did well with nothing. The people of the Ukraine get by with less,'' he said. A successful farmer there has a team of horses. An average farmer has perhaps one horse. A poor farmer does without a horse, relying instead on his own strength to work his farm.
The mite was introduced in the United States from Europe in 1987. In 1996, the worst year so far, it destroyed about 60 percent of the nation's bees. "This is a serious problem nationwide," said Grant Stiles, chief bee specialist for New Jersey. In the last 13 years, the state's 900 beekeepers and 10,000 bee colonies have been drastically reduced, said Robert Balaam, director of the Division of Plant Industry in the state's Department of Agriculture. The department did not record statistics before 1990, but anecdotal evidence suggests the varroa mite struck New Jersey hard, he said.
In Pennsylvania, the number of keepers and colonies has dropped by two-thirds since 1987, said James Steinhauser, chief bee inspector for the state. In 1999, 1,700 beekeepers with 30,133 colonies registered with the state. "It just snuck up on them. Beekeepers didn't know what was going on," Steinhauser said.
Bob Harvey of Monroeville, owner of the largest beekeeping business in New Jersey, has watched his colonies shrink by half - to about 2,400 - in the last 25 years. Other factors, such as drought and hurricanes, diminished stock, Harvey said. But by far, the mite has done the most damage. Because cold weather weakens bee colonies, he said, Northern beekeepers now transport bees to warmer climates in the winter. He estimated he spent more than $250,000 last year to transport his bees to Florida. With roughly 4,600 hives rented at about $37 each, it can be hard to make ends meet, he said. About one-third of his business comes from pollination.
Jerry J. Bromenshenk, speaking at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said that researchers now hope to exploit this remarkable talent of the honeybee to identify areas that have been mined and, perhaps, even pinpoint individual mines. "Honeybees can pick up traces of all sorts of contaminants," said Bromenshenk, a researcher at the University of Montana in Missoula. "Our studies have shown that they can distinguish individual explosive compounds." Under a contract with the Army, Bromenshenk and a group of researchers have already shown that by putting sensors inside beehives they can tell if a bee foraging in the field has detected an explosive compound and carried traces of it back to the hive.
Beth was describing her work in understanding how bees prepare to forage. They take pre-flights to learn the landscape.
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