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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    35

    Post

    My wife and I are going to this seminar, at Penn State Beaver Campus Extension, February 18 and 19. Is anyone else here going? It looks like fun and hopefully we'll learn something new.

    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    I plan on going. I’ll probably be the one you see arguing with the Chief Inspector. I haven’t had any correspondence returned from these people yet, it’s ridiculous! So I have to go there in person to find get answers I need.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Naturebee, What correspondance are you talking about? I speak to Dennis on a weekly basis and he always answers the phone himself, unless he is at a seminar like the one you speak of. And if he is not in the office when you call, if you listen to the message, he gives his cell phone number if you wish to call him while he is on the road. Then there is his e-mail address at the state. Can't get much easier than that.

    Although the inspector is not active at this time of the year, did you try to reach the inspector for your area? Duane Hall, can be reached at lazyfoxfarm@verizon.net If you would like his home or cell or any other information, please let me know by email.

    You seem eager to have something answered or inspected. Can't help with the inspection part at this time of year, but is there any questions or information you seek that perhaps someone from this site could help you with?

    I am highly interested in the "organic" label that you have posted. The last time I spoke with the organic board, and with the advisor to the state beekeeping association, it was stated that there were no beekeepers in Pennsylvania with this certificate. They commented that as written, they did not see any beekeepers passing the standards that have been in place. Have they changed anything recently that allowed you to pass? Or is there a way around it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    35

    Post

    naturebee, sorry to hear about your experiences. Lee Miller called me back earlier this week and gave me some additional info about the overall theme of the seminar and some details about the seminars. I'm hoping that Dennis has some info about this "virus" I've been reading about on other posts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    Bjorn, Duane claims he as tough time getting ahold of Dennis. All I need is how to regiseter for queen rearing,,, the PA law indicates I need two inspections per year,,, a little indication from them that they are aware of my plans is all I am looking for. If you would provide me with contact information for Dennis, I would greatly apprecieate. Thanks!


    You can call you beekeeping "organic". But you cannot call your honey organic

    heres 2 letters from Nancy Ostiguy:


    --- Nancy Ostiguy <nxo3@psu.edu> wrote:

    Dear Joe:

    You do not need to have certification to be able to call your honey
    organic. You do need to have the organic management plan written
    before you label you honey organic because you could be asked to
    produce it at any time.

    No there is not a condensed version of the rules. I suppose this is
    because the program was created by a law and lawyers have a hard time
    talking in a language that most of use understand.

    Unfortunately I will be out of town for the next two weeks due to my
    sister's upcoming surgery. If I have a chance, I will try to give you
    an outline of what would need to go into a plan. It really isn't too
    complicated; you need to write down what you do to keep the bees
    healthy and how you handle the honey and any other hive products that
    you will be selling. The goal is to show that your management
    practices are sustainable and that you are not using any materials that
    are prohibited.

    Nancy


    --- Nancy Ostiguy <nxo3@psu.edu> wrote:

    Dear Joe:

    Getting certified requires following the procedures of the National
    Organic Rule. If you gross more then $5,000 in organic sales then you
    have to have a certifying organization approve your operation. I'll
    describe what you do in both scenarios.

    Less then $5,000 in organic sales.
    See the attached information for details. You need an organic
    management plan. This plan describes how you manage your bees. You
    need to describe what you do to ensure that the bees feed on organic
    nectar and pollen, what you do when you need to feed your bees (the
    sugar must be organic), how you treat diseases and pests (what do you
    do about AFB, varroa mites, nosema, etc.), where do the bees obtain
    their water. Keep documentation of your operation (receipts for sugar,
    equipment, etc. - the regular IRS stuff but this is to prove that you
    have not used any prohibited materials).

    More than $5000 in organic sales.
    Contact a certifying organization. The following web site has a list
    of all the organizations:
    http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/Certifyi...credited.html.
    Pennsylvania Certified Organic 406 South Pennsylvania Avenue Centre
    Hall, PA 16838, 814-364-1344 is a local organization the can certify
    your operation. One cautionary note: it is not cheap to become
    certified. I've been talking to people about whether or not the
    Eastern Apiculture Society wants to sponsor a group that would
    specialize in organic beekeeping to help keep the costs low.
    The certifying organization will ask for an organic management plan
    and will inspect your operation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    Jim-R, you meaning the Kashmir Bee Virus?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Naturebee,
    Dennis #'s are (O) 717-772-5225 (C)717-497-1514
    FAX 717-705-6518 EMAIL - c-dvanengl@state.pa.us

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    35

    Post

    Naturebee,

    Whatever virus I've seen mentioned on the board here recently (in the last day or so). I don't know if it's Kashmir or what - someone else suggested cold shock.

    I'm pretty new - this will be my second summer keeping bees.

    Thanks,
    Jim

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Post

    Cold shock? Never heard of it. I've seen lots of sudden changed in temperature over the last 30 years and haven't seen it kill bees. I have seen a very long (several weeks) frigid (below 0 F) spell kill a smaller cluster because it couldn't move to fresh stores. But I've never seen cold, even a long spell of it, kill a larger cluster.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    Thanks for the number BjornBee!

    Jim, I never heard of cold shock either. But I’ll hazard a guess that the ‘cold shock’ term was probably coined right here in PA. There seems to be a ridiculous misconception amongst some of the beekeeping pundits here in PA that a honeybee cluster cannot handle a rapid drop in temperature, like the one we experienced here last week, 65F day followed by a 15F night. IMO, if a colony fails to handle the drop in temp, the colony was weak, sick, or other compounding stresses contributing to the failure.

    PS. Don’t allow people to scare you about these Viruses. Foulbrood, chalkboard, viruses should really be no concern if your colonies are kept healthy. Viruses are generally are associated with colonies that have severe varroa infestation or PMS. So keep healthy colonies, and you will be fine.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    35

    Post

    Joe,

    Thanks for the advice. I'm not worried yet. We were supposed to check the hives this weekend, but it was WAY too cold. Lovely weather, eh? Both hives are BeeMax, wrapped in tar paper, with a snow fence about 10' away for a little wind protection. One went into winter with a pretty good honey supply, the other with less. Both were still alive 2 weeks ago. We're hopeful.

    Jim

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    Hope they make it!

    Hey Jim, did you hear about the newly discovered Nostradamus ‘Honeybee Quatrain’?

    Here's a facinating news article:

    http://www.geocities.com/feralhoneyb...stradamus.html

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