News Filed Under Beekeeping
The number of people in Mississippi taking up beekeeping as a hobby is growing, and commercial-scale production is holding steady -- for now.
SAUCIER, Miss. -- Producers and gardeners looking for tips on growing herbs and improving their soil can attend a July 20 field day.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Healthy hives, consumer demand and crops for pollination are issues demanding beekeepers' attention in 2018.
Jeff Harris, a bee specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said bees are doing better than some reports might suggest.
Sometimes bad news can feel overwhelming, as if one person can do little to make a difference. Growing plants that support honeybees and butterflies doesn’t solve a major world problem, but it can give these important pollinators a boost while also offering loads of beautiful color to your yard or garden. Now is the time to plan! (Photo credit: Kat Lawrence)
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- From the outside, a honey bee hive looks pretty simple: bees fly in and out. They fly around flowers, and once inside the hive, they make honey.
They must be hard workers -- after all, the phrase "busy as a bee" had to come from somewhere.
Like many natural phenomena, a hive of honey bees is incredibly complex. Some scientists even classify a beehive, also called a colony, as a superorganism, an insect society made up of individuals that create a functioning whole.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippi State University researchers and Extension Service agents heard suggestions from Coastal area agricultural producers and industry leaders about the research and education they need from the university in 2017.
The MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center Producer Advisory Council meeting was held on Feb. 28 in Biloxi. The annual meeting helps the university allocate time and resources to the most important issues facing Mississippi's agricultural producers and related industries.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Experienced and aspiring beekeepers in Mississippi will have two opportunities to hone their skills in March
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting a Beginning Beekeepers Short Course March 4 and an Intermediate Beekeeping Workshop and Queen Rearing Seminar March 25.
The beginners' course will be at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson. Topics include diseases, honeybee biology, hive inspection, basic equipment, seasonal management, honey extraction and small hive beetle management.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Agricultural producers and industry professionals in central Mississippi met with agents and research scientists of the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Feb. 22 to share input and give feedback.
The Central Mississippi Producer Advisory Council meeting was held in conjunction with Hinds Community College and the Alcorn State University Extension.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Dawn Morgan's father was an organic gardener before organic was cool, but for years she preferred a more manicured yard and the practices that entailed.
Then she began reading about the decline of bee colonies and remembered her dad's orchard and garden buzzing with pollinators.
"Dad kept bees but in a very primitive way," she said. "No bee suit, no smoker, never used herbicides or pesticides. He did everything naturally."
RAYMOND, Miss -- This time of year is when swarms of honeybees settle in trees or shrubs as they leave their hives searching for larger places to live
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service will host a daylong queen-rearing workshop at the MSU Apiculture Lab on April 30.
The workshop will cover the benefits of raising queen bees, preparing a quality cell builder, troubleshooting problems with queen rearing, and grafting and non-grafting techniques. PowerPoint sessions will begin in the morning, followed by hands-on demonstrations and grafting practice in the afternoon.
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- The fear of being stung by thousands of swarming bees typically sends people running for a can of pesticide.
But swarming is a dramatic display of democracy in action and can be a source of wonder instead of panic for those who understand what is going on.
Reid Nevins, Lowndes County coordinator of the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said bees swarm as part of the natural process of establishing new colonies.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Beekeeping is hot right now, with numbers of producers steadily increasing in Mississippi and across the U.S.
“Beekeeping continues to grow in astonishing numbers across the country,” said Jeff Harris, bee specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Most of that growth is from people who want to do it as a hobby.”
Johnny Thompson, a Philadelphia, Mississippi, beekeeper who raises queens and nucleus colonies, said about half of his customers are new to beekeeping.
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Because bees are important to the success of crops, honeybee health is important to Mississippi State University.
Jeff Gore, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, participated in a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service study of pesticide toxicity to honeybees. The study was conducted in Stoneville at the USDA-ARS Jamie Whitten Delta States Research Center. It was part of ongoing efforts to protect the population of pollinators.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- People who care about honeybees know that insecticides and pollinators are usually a bad mix, but it turns out that herbicides used to control weeds can spell even bigger trouble for bees.
Jeff Harris, bee specialist with the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher, said herbicides destroy bee food sources.
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Chemical companies have added a new bee hazard icon on labels of certain insecticides to protect pollinators from chemicals hazardous to their health.
Blake Layton, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the icon and the accompanying pollinator protection box are required on labels of systemic insecticides that contain imidacloprid, dinotefuran or thiamethoxam or clothiandin.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Backyard hobbyists and commercial producers of fruit and vegetable crops share a common need: pollinators.
Without them, flowering plants would be unable to produce fruit and seed. Bees are most commonly associated with pollination, but butterflies, hummingbirds and flies also are common pollinators.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A lifelong beekeeper and Mississippi State University Extension Service apiculture specialist offers an unusual list of reasons for bee colony death.
“My top three reasons for bee colony death are Varroa mites, Varroa mites and Varroa mites,” said bee expert Jeff Harris. “This is my sarcastic response to the heavy emphasis in the press on the effects of insecticides and other pesticides on honey bees.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Pitting farmers against beekeepers does little to solve the problems facing pollinators.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- “Just mentioning bees and pesticides in the same sentence is sure to get a buzz,” said Angus Catchot, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Media skirmishes about bee health, agriculture practices and the role of pollinators in food production are a mixture of fact, propaganda and general misunderstanding, Catchot said.