Newsnotes

August 2015

(excerpt)

Bees: An Up-close Look at Pollinators Around the World

The upcoming book, Bees: An Up-Close Look at Pollinators Around the World, truly is unique, giving the reader a new way to appreciate and marvel at these “mvps” (most valuable pollinators, of course!). Authors Sam Droege and Laurence Packer present more than 100 of the most eye-catching bees from around the world as you’ve never seen them: up-close and with stunning detail. You’ll stare at alien-like faces, get lost in mesmerizing colors and patterns and find each shows a personality in the photos.
Bees: An Up-Close Look at Pollinators Around the World evolved from these photos becoming an internet sensation in 2014. Sam Droege, a wildlife biologist with the US Geological Survey, began posting photos to the USGS Bee Inventory & Monitoring Lab’s Flickr page, and thanks to some bee fans at Reddit, the page went viral, being shared and viewed hundreds of thousands of times. And recently Mr. Droege was extensively quoted in the national press around the White House announcement of the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.
The book is organized by the seven families of bees, with each photo accompanied by interesting, and often witty, facts and details about the bee by Laurence Packer, a professor of biology at York University. (Steve Roth, www.QuartoUS.com)

Eva Crane Trust -News Update

The Trust was set-up by Dr Eva Crane in 2002 and is a grant-giving charity. It also aims to be a portal to information of interest to beekeepers and bee scientists
The web site www.evacranetrust.org has been in operation for some time but since May 12th it has become easier to use and offers an amazing range of information which is being constantly expanded. The 3 main portals are:

1.    Eva Crane Documents

This is being continually updated as we add more of Dr Crane’s original documents onto the site. These papers range from talks and presentations to her typescripts for book chapters and journal articles. It is truly a fascinating and informative collection.

2.    Apiculture Abstracts
From 1949 to 2005 Dr Crane instigated a method of collecting and collating bee-related abstracts from an infinite variety of sources and from all over the world. The collection has well over 60,000 abstracts in total. Now, working in collaboration with the National Library of Wales, the Trust is making freely available over 20,000 of these academic abstracts and hopes to add more as the time-consuming task permits. These are an excellent first step for researchers and inquisitive beekeepers wishing to source scientific data. What is more it is often possible, working through the National Library of Wales, to source the full original papers from the Eva Crane Collection.

3.    The Gallery
This is a personal collection of photographs taken by Dr Crane. It is an eclectic mix of world travel and beekeeping forays! There are approximately 500 images currently freely available, but this part of the web site is also being continually updated as there are a total of nearly 6,500 images which will eventually be made available.

For almost half a century Dr Crane was the driving force behind the provision of a sorting/clearing house and central reference point for bee information which was the equivalent of the internet of her day. The Trust would like to make sure this work is available for the enjoyment and benefit of all. It is hoped it will inspire further research and developments which might in turn be reflected on the web site that carries her name.
All updates will be regularly Tweeted: @evacranetrust

Richard Jones,
Chairman, The Eva Crane Trust

From Hive to Table


An International Conference on the Safety and Authenticity of Bee Products
Istanbul, Turkey 21/22 May 2015


This was the first international congress to focus solely on food and safety issues associated with the authenticity of bee products including honey, royal jelly, pollen and propolis. It was held under the auspices of Istanbul Technical University, Yildiz Technical University and the Faculty of Agriculture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. It was attended by almost 200 delegates representing all the major countries of Europe.

Consumers today want to know that the food they buy is safe, meets the necessary quality requirements and is true to the product label. As a consequence of the recent horse meat scandal the European Commission defined the ten products that are at most risk from food fraud and, in March 2015, followed this up by recommending a coordinated control plan with a view to establishing the prevalence of fraudulent practices in the marketing of certain foods. One of the target products is honey. There is more equipment and there are more methods of testing foodstuffs today, with greater accuracy, than ever before. Yet, as we often see in the drug battle in sport, the fraudsters still manage to stay one step ahead of the testers.

During the course of two extremely full days a wide range of analytical methods were examined ranging from traditional HMF, pollen and sensory methods of assessment to the latest high tech methods using tandem quadrupole mass spectrometers and DNA analysis of honey.

Much attention was paid to pollutants and contaminants in honey including some problems, which are not always obvious, associated with GMOs. An example was given of a German professional producer who could not market his canola honey as it was found to have GMO contamination. The beekeeper knew there was no GMO crop within even the most extreme foraging distance of his bees and eventually the contamination was traced to the commercially available and approved pollen substitute that had been given to the bees and not related to their foraging.

The classic way of testing for authenticity is to focus on marker compounds, but the absence of certain marker compounds does not mean that the honey is not adulterated. In this way the cheats try to stay ahead of the game by coming up with adulteration syrup recipes that that do not have the marker compounds and so, unless the testers are also developing their side of the equation, the product can slip through the tester’s net. The way ahead is to develop full data profiles for each honey, easier said than done even with monofloral honeys, and then compare the test profile with the database profile which may be ...

PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN BEE RESEARCH CONFERENCE NOW AVAILABLE!

 The 2012 American Bee Research Conference was held February 7-8 at APHIS Headquarters in Greenbelt, MD in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Apiary Inspectors of America.  The twenty-sixth American Bee Research Conference will be held in Hershey, PA in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Honey Producers Association in January 2013.  To access these abstracts now, click on the link below. These abstracts represent some of the latest bee research being conducted in the United States.  Enjoy!

icon 2012_Proceedings_ABJ.pdf (565 KB)