March 2014

The Northwest Arkansas Beekeepers Club

President Tom Nichols

Vice President: Mark Eaton

Treasurer: Nancy Kahanak

Secretary: Victor Mathis

The month of February (Buuurrr) was cold and snowy...and knocked us out of a meeting. We hope to make up it in the coming months. Pray for a wet Spring....


Tonights meeting was attended by 108 people, both new comers and old timers.

The March Meeting is a get together following two months of inactivity. We do not meet in December and January was our annual school for three weeks. February was the first time in club history when we had to cancel a meeting due to weather.

Tonights speaker is Ed Levi the past State Plant Board president.


Ed started his presentation with an explanation of the "Bee Informed" Partnership or BIP. The BIP program is driven through the University of Maryland, in conjunction with the USDA. It is a program to help ALL Bee Keepers nationwide and was created out of the 30% colony loss nationwide since 2006. It is not a nationwide even loss, with some areas worse than others. The BIP program set about to help identify the "WHY" bee loss occurs. The BIP organization is announced to spread information nationwide among bee keepers and identify any strategy which will help to maintain bee colonies.

The BIP program has tech teams which can be used to conduct on site inspections. These Tech Teams have been successful in reduceing hive losses. Their analysis of all the input data reflects the successes enjoyed by various compounds and chemical treatments for hive infestations. The Wed address for the BIP survey is and survey time for completion is the Month of April.

Ed Levi's second presentation was entitled "Rethinking Beekeeping" --Back To The Basics through 'Beeology' ---spelled wrong on purpose.

After working with Bees for some 30 years Ed shared a rennaissance in his way of thinking. He referenced several experts and their opinions regarding Colony Collapse Disorder, Hive Protection, Propolis, and hive positioning. One expert reported that the optimum position for any hive is 35 feet above the ground....hello?? Most people know this but ALL of our bees come from either Asia, Africa, or Europe.

Ed's back to basics identified the castes of bees and what each does. Starting wth the Queen in each colony, Ed identified that some 21+ CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS exist with each queen. The Worker Bee's job was identified and explored as was the Drone. The Colony Organization is controlled and organized by Phermone and age.

Forageing, Swarming, Navigating, Communication and Defence are all triggered by phermones. Ed left open the question of what interference occurs when we introduce chemical compounds into a colony. Ed identified Phermones as being similiar to our Harmones.

Communication between bees is accomplished through redundant passing of information with only two identified dances. Bees have untraviolent vision and much of their dance communication is acomplished in the dark. The "Swarm" process was broken down into usefull information that we all could use.

Ed did an excellant job of explaining many aspects of bee keeping in an easy nuts-and-bolts presentation. The obvious question asked by Ed Levi is are we doing what we do for the bees or for us??????

Good Luck, God Bless, and Keep Buzzing!!!!!!!

Next Month we will meet on the second Monday