Flesh Eating Bees

Some bees have developed a taste for carrion, in a delightfully twisted evolutionary turn. These vulture bees, as they’re known, feature unique gut microbes that help them digest meat.

Flesh Eating Bees

Boll Weevil Eradication Efforts – Beekeeper Notification

The Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation (https://www.txbollweevil.org/) has notified the TAIS office that in preparation for the 2022 growing season they will begin fieldwork activities and boll weevil eradication efforts in and around cotton fields starting Monday, December 20th, 2021.  If you currently have or plan to have hives near cotton fields, you can voluntarily provide your locations to the Foundation so they can notify you in advance of any scheduled eradication efforts.  Please contact the Foundation directly by calling 1-800-687-1212 to provide your information.

2021 TBA Honey Show Winners

We had a great turnout of entries for the 2021 TBA Honey Show. Thank you to everyone that entered, to the TBA Honey Show Chair, Robin Young, all the judges, and all the Honey Show volunteers.

The TBA 2021 Honey Show

Extracted Honey Light Amber
First: Jimmy Middlebrooks
Second: Don Whitaker
Third: Selina & Evan Tabor

Extracted Honey Medium Amber
First: Tanya Phillips
Second: Katrina Semones
Third: Beth Derr & Ron Gumm

Extracted Honey Dark Amber
First: Glen Kveton
Second: Rebecca Vaughn
Third: Glynn Smith

Creamed Honey
First: Rebecca Vaughn

Chunk Honey
First: Danessa Yaschuk
Second: Katrina Semones

Comb Honey – Half Hog
First: Gabriel Steward

Comb Honey – Cut
First: Danessa Yaschuk
Second: Katrina Semones

Black Jar – Judged
First: Gail Kerley
Second: Rebecca Vaughn

Wax Plain Block
First: Greg Rogers
Second: Danessa Yaschuk

First: Rebecca Vaughn
Second: Greg Rogers
Third: Danessa Yaschuk

Wax Plain Block
First: Greg Rogers
Second: Danessa Yaschuk

Photo – Close Up
First: Greg Rogers
Second: Lori Hatherley
Third: Stephen Hatherley

Photo – Scenic
First: Danessa Yaschuk
Second: Nanette Davis
Third: Rebecca Thomas

Photo – Portrait
First: Theresa Kveton
Second: Greg Rogers
Third: Rebecca Thomas

Beekeeping Arts & Crafts
First: Theresa Kveton
Second: Cari Krauter
Third: Dodie Stillman

Bee Box Art Contest
First: Teri Albright
Second: Rebecca Thomas

Beekeeper Gadgets
First: Dan Brantner
Second: Lori Hatherley

Traditional Mead – Semi-Sweet: Zachary Hancock

Traditional Mead – Sweet: BrittanyFetterman

Fruit Mead – Cyser (Apple & Honey): Zachary Hancock

Specialty Mead – Historical Recipes: Michael Bernoudy

Specialty Mead – Experimental Mead: Keith Lawson

2021 Best of Show Awards
Black Jar – People’s Choice: Rich Beggs

Best of Honey: Jimmy Middlebrooks

Best Small-Scale Honey: Jimmy Middlebrooks

Best Sideliner Honey: Danessa Yaschuk

Best of Art: Thresa Kveton

Best of Gadgets: Dan Brantner

Best of Mead: Brittany Fetterman

Ann Harman Award of Excellence in Beekeeping: Greg Rogers

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Selling Honey Information

1. Food Manufacturer License
From the DSHS Foods Group page in Frequently Asked Questions https://dshs.texas.gov/foods/faqs.aspx#:~:text=Beekeeper%20Honey%20Production,
“Beekeeper Honey Production Frequently Asked Questions – Added July 16, 2020
• Did anything change for beekeepers selling honey in Texas with the adoption of the updated 25 TAC 229.210-225 Subchapter N, Current GMP and GWP in Manufacturing, Packing or Holding Human Food that became effective August 2, 2017?
Yes, beekeepers that sell raw honey produced from their own bees/hives are “farms” and are exempt from licensing as food manufacturers when engaged in allowable farm activities. Examples of allowable farm activities include extracting and bottling raw honey whether for retail or wholesale. DSHS adopts the clarification provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its Questions and Answers Regarding Food Facility Registration (Seventh Edition): Guidance for Industry in Question B.1.19.
• Is pasteurization of raw honey an allowable farm activity?
No, pasteurizing raw honey is a manufacturing activity that requires a license as a food manufacturer. DSHS adopts the clarification provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its Questions and Answers Regarding Food Facility Registration (Seventh Edition): Guidance for Industry in Question C.4.3.
• Are there any laws that apply to beekeeper raw honey producers?
Yes, while beekeepers harvesting raw honey will not be required to license with DSHS as long as they are only engaged in allowable farm activities, harvesting operations that conduct filtering, packaging, and labeling of honey are still subject to the adulteration and misbranding provisions of Texas Health and Safety Code 431. Texas Agriculture Code, Title 6, Chapter 131, Bees and Honey, Subchapter E, Labeling and Sale of Honey gives DSHS regulatory authority over the labeling of honey. DSHS will investigate complaints of adulterated honey and mislabeled honey and take appropriate compliance action.
• Can a beekeeper blend other raw honey into raw honey from their own bees/hives?
Yes, as long as some of the raw honey is from the beekeeper’s own bees/hives, a beekeeper can blend other raw honey with the beekeeper’s honey. If you blend honey no longer considered raw, like pasteurized honey, blending is no longer an exempt farm activity and a food manufacturer license is required.
• Is allowing raw honey to dry so that it crystallizes an allowable farm activity for beekeepers?
Yes, a beekeeper drying raw honey from their bees/hives is an allowable farm activity as long as there is no additional manufacturing/processing (other than packaging and labeling). Packaging and labeling raw agricultural commodities are allowable farm activities.
• If a beekeeper whips air into their raw honey to sell as whipped honey, would this be considered manufacturing requiring the firm to license as a food manufacturer?
Yes, whipping air into raw honey is a manufacturing activity that requires a food manufacturer license.”
• Additional FDA Guidance:
Draft Guidance for Industry: Classification of Activities as Harvesting, Packing, Holding, or Manufacturing/Processing for Farms and Facilities
Exempt Farm Activity:
Packing- Filtering for safe/effective packing (e.g., filtering honey to remove hive debris)
Filtering RACs for safe/effective packing (e.g., filtering honey to remove hive debris) is a packing activity.

2. Retail Permits, Cottage Foods, Small Honey Producers:
• Small honey production operation restrictions: amount produced, uninspected kitchen label, where sold.
o Small honey production operation defined: H&SC 437.001(7)
o H&SC 437.0197-437.0199
• Cottage food production operation
o Cottage food production operation defined: H&SC 437.001(2-b)
o H&SC 437.0191-437.0193

3. If you need more information, please contact the DSHS PSQA Unit at 512-834-6670 or foods.regulatory@dshs.texas.gov.

Davonna Koebrick, LMSW, RS
Food Safety Officer/MFRPS Coordinator
Texas Rapid Response Team/Texas Food Safety Taskforce
Division for Consumer Protection Texas Department of State Health Services
Davonna.koebrick@dshs.texas.gov       (512) 231-5783

Tax Deductions for Vehicles Over 6,000lbs

Author: Bojan Radulovic

If you operate a business, searching for tax deductions is probably something that becomes a part of your daily regime as the April 15th deadline approaches each year. In case your business is or includes some form of transportation, however, there is a good chance that you ran into specific deductions for vehicles weighing over 6,000 pounds. If not, this will be an opportunity to learn the basics of this seemingly complex tax benefit that millions of taxpayers are unaware of. So, how much are you allowed to take as an expense on heavy vehicles placed in service?

Photo by Basil Furgala. Posted https://www.sare.org/publications/managing-alternative-pollinators/chapter-one-the-business-of-pollination/pollination-costs-and-benefits-almonds/
How Section 179 Works

The easiest way to get some money back is to rely on something known as accelerated depreciation. In general, the IRS allows your business to deduct $1 million worth of Section 179 deductions in any given tax year. While this is subject to a slew of strict requirements, it remains one of the most beneficial tax breaks that a business relying on heavy assets could get. Before getting into the various limits, let us analyze the exact types of assets that are eligible under this category:

  • Acquired for business use
  • Acquired by purchase (not gifts)

Once you get past those first few requirements, you will drill down into the details of the asset to truly ascertain if you can deduct it or not. Those details are based on determining whether the asset is:

  • Tangible personal property such as machinery and equipment, livestock, property in a building
  • Off-the-shelf computer software
  • Storage facilities
  • Qualified real property including improvements to the building or internal structures of it

The maximum deduction that you can claim under Section 179 is $1 million.

See the rest of the story:  https://www.gettaxhub.com/tax-deductions-for-vehicles-over-6000lbs/
**Please note-this article is a general outline. You should talk with a tax professional for advice for your company.**

The Bee Informed Partnership publishes two beneficial publications

The Bee Informed Partnership publishes two beneficial publications for beekeepers:

  • BIP’s 2nd edition of Diagnosis and Treatment of Common Honey Bee Diseases, a 66-page spiral bound manual that includes large detailed color images of diseases, disease descriptions and how to treat or address some of the major diseases that honey bees face. This manual is in both English and Spanish, and is a great resource for clubs, crew training, or just having on hand for in-field diagnosis.
  • Commercial Beekeeping: A Field Guide is a full color pocket guide, and has been three years in the making with over 260 pages of information. This comprehensive publication includes a wealth of material that covers everything beekeepers want to know to improve their beekeeping and take their operations to the next level.

If you are interested in obtaining these publications, please check with your favorite bee supplier or BIP’s Pollen Basket to receive a copy as a donation thank you gift.  If you are a bee supplier interested in selling these publications, please use our contact form.



Mechanical buckling of petals produces iridescent patterns visible to bees

by Kathy Grube, University of Cambridge       Published in Phys.org

Flowers are employing a materials science phenomenon typically associated with failures in structural engineering to produce exquisite three-dimensional petal patterns to lure pollinators.


Striations start to form in the cuticle on the adaxial side of the proximal (purple) region of the Hibiscus trionum petal during early stages of bud development and are fully established by the time the flower is fully developed. Credit: Chiara A. Airoldi.

In civil engineering “buckling” is a dirty word with the buckling of beams and columns leading to mechanical failure—and is something that engineers want to avoid.

But for some plants, buckling is being employed to advantage.

Flowers use several different strategies to lure pollinators. Chemical color from pigments is just one of these strategies and recent research is finding that iridescence could be just as important for attracting pollinators like bees.

This optical effect is produced by an intricate pattern of nano-scale ridges on the surface of petals that diffract light to cause iridescence, like that seen on the surface of CDs or soap bubbles, but how the plant develops these ridges was not known.

Research from the University of Cambridge has demonstrated that plants employ buckling to precisely alter the deformation of the surface of petals in hibiscus flowers. The findings are published in Cell Reports today.

“The petal striations on hibiscus flowers develop during petal growth, and Professor Beverley Glover’s team, who were the first to discover the iridescence properties in flowers, suspected that they may be caused by mechanical properties as the petals expanded”, said Dr. Sarah Robinson in the University of Cambridge’s Sainsbury Laboratory and lead of the research.

Working with members of Professor Glover’s team, Dr. Robinson was able to test this model by using a robotic system, called ACME (automated confocal micro-extensometer) that she had earlier developed to measure mechanical properties in plants. They applied a specific force to stretch immature hibiscus (Hibiscus trionum) petals that had not yet developed striations to see if it was possible to mechanically induce the patterns. “The ACME developed by Dr. Sarah Robinson gave us the unique chance to investigate if Hibiscus striation patterns could be mechanically induced.” said Dr. Chiara Airoldi, in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Plant Sciences and first author.

“We saw striations appear almost instantaneously when a mechanical stress was applied. This told us that it was buckling that was causing a wrinkling of the petal surface and not a slower biological process.

We were able to measure the striations and show that they had the same properties as they do when they develop naturally. One of the big surprises was that we could also induce striations at 90 degrees to the striations that naturally occur, which indicates that the orientation of the striations is not pre-patterned. However, we could not induce striations in other parts of the petals, suggesting that the ability to form striations is under genetic control,” said Dr. Robinson.

The buckling occurs in the cuticle, which is a waxy surface covering made up of two layers. It is these two layers with different mechanical properties that makes the buckling possible.

“Using buckling theory we postulated a model and recreated the experiment. This allowed us to illustrate why some cuticles wrinkle and others do not, emphasizing the role of layers.” said Dr. Carlos Lugo, in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Plant Sciences.

“Using cryo-SEM (scanning electron microscopy) fractures we have been able to show that the cuticle that striates has two physically distinct layers. We are further investigating the development of hibiscus petal striations through a combined approach of mathematical modeling and measurements of physical properties of the layers,” said Dr. Airoldi.

An estimated 35 percent of the world’s crop harvest relies on animal pollinators and with pollinator populations in decline, understanding how the relationships and signaling operate between plants and pollinators is of growing importance.


Angelina Jolie to establish the next Women for Bees program in Cambodia

Angelina named the Godmother of Women for Bees

By Web Desk, International The News

Angelina Jolie would return to Cambodia soon to establish the next Women for Bees program in the region of Samlout where she has a home.

Angelina Jolie speaking on the importance of bees and providing educational opportunities for girls and women around the world.

The Maleficent actress feels proud to raise awareness about bee conservation and the importance of investing in women’s education as part of her ongoing partnership with Guerlain.

As an ambassador of the luxury French beauty house, the 46-year-old was named the Godmother of Women for Bees — a female beekeeping entrepreneurship program that Guerlain launched last year in partnership with UNESCO.

“We wanted to make sure there was at least 50x women from 25 biospheres, to understand the biospheres and why it was important to map out and build the team,” she tells People.

Angelina Jolie says it’s “insane” that the importance of it is still being discussed. “It’s angering, really, isn’t it? That we somehow have to keep explaining this — it’s their right.”

On providing education opportunities for girls and women around the world, the Oscar winner said: When a young girl is born, she has the right to education, it’s her life.

Watch the video here: https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/893407-angelina-jolie-to-establish-the-next-women-for-bees-program-in-cambodia

Guide to Varroa Mite Controls

Honey Bee Health Coalition logo

The Honey Bee Health Coalition has published a guide detailing how commercial beekeepers are finding success treating Varroa without relying exclusively on off-label chemical treatments. The guide is pivotal to the industry as Varroa mites are already showing signs of widespread resistance to off-label varroacides.

Guide to Varroa Mite Controls for Commercial Beekeeping Operations lays out a vision that addresses the risks of resistance created by off-label use. Widespread resistance to products like amitraz poses a serious threat to the long-term financial health of every commercial beekeeping business. Continuous use of off-label amitraz, with increasing dosages (as it becomes less effective), is likely to cause amitraz to lose its effectiveness, just as other products like coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate have become largely ineffective for controlling Varroa mites.

Cover of document

This guide aims to help commercial beekeepers evaluate a variety of Varroa control methods that can be integrated into a management plan to protect their bees and their business. It highlights the experiences of beekeepers who are having success as they explore alternative strategies to limit their reliance on off-label amitraz and avoid using unregistered products.

In addition to documenting six case studies examining various approaches to Varroa treatment, the guide also reviews the causes and impacts of Varroa mite resistance to varroacides. It also highlights control methods that can be used in an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy or a highly specific, knowledge-driven approach, referred to as precision apiculture.