Puttin’ the Bee in Boulder; Pollinator this, Pollinator that; HBHC Varroa Control Guide, and more

Pollinator News      August 21, 2015

Puttin’ the Bee in Boulder—Oct. 1-3, 2015

WAS conf logo 2015The Colorado State Beekeepers Association (CSBA) will be “Puttin’ the Bee in Boulder” for the first 3 days of October and we would like to invite you to join in the festivities.  The “Healthy Bee / Bee Healthy” WAS conference will take place at the Millennium Harvest House hotel and will feature 3 days of top notch speakers, networking and evening activities.

The first 2 days will focus on bee health and the final day will feature mainstream medical doctors and veterinarians speaking on bees and human health.  Mark Winston, noted author and bee researcher will be the keynote luncheon speaker on Friday and Marla Spivak, MacArthur Fellow from the University of Minnesota, will be the luncheon keynote on Saturday.  There are workshops on gardening for pollinators, apitherapy and other uses for bee products.  On Saturday evening, there will be a Farm-to-Table dinner featuring renowned gardener Lauren Springer Ogden .  For a complete schedule, click here .

Interest in bees and other pollinators is at an all-time high!  We are expecting several hundred attendees from all over the western US, including Alaska and Hawaii as well as the western provinces of Canada.  On Saturday, we are expecting significantly more from the Boulder community.  The conference is being marketed through a variety of channels including mail, email and social media outlets.  Sponsor and vendor opportunities abound!   There are several FREE tables reserved for non-profit messaging.  Remember, the CSBA is a 501c3 organization and your donations may be tax deductible.  

The conference program deadlines have been announced, too!  Everyone at the conference receives a copy of the program. Deadline for bookings and copy is September 10th.
Rates (full color) are –
   Full page $150            Half page (horizontal) $85
  Quarter page (vertical) $50        Business card (horizontal) $25

Please contact the President of Colorado State Beekeepers Assn. if you have any further questions regarding the conference sponsor and vendor information, Beth Conrey president@coloradobeekeepers.org.  The CSBA will be “Puttin’ the Bee in Boulder”  October 1-3, 2015.  You want to bee there so save the dates!

Pollinator this, Pollinator that–which nonprofit should I support?

Recently, beekeepers have inquired about the confusing plethora of nonprofits for bees.  With forty-one different nonprofits with bees, pollinators, or support thereof in their name or mission, it is a crowded nonprofit world.  Some nonprofit organizations work for the benefit of beekeepers, honey bees, and native pollinators.  Other nonprofits may be environmentally supportive groups, of which honey bees comprise an aspect of their efforts. Not all of the beekeeping/honey bee/pollinator nonprofits have beekeepers as staff, Board members, or advisers.
Nonprofit requirements and nonprofit financial records
All nonprofits are required to register their organization in their “home” state, and with the Internal Revenue Service.  Not all nonprofits are aware of this, nor do all nonprofits comply with this guideline. National nonprofits are also required to register in 38 different states, if the nonprofit is raising money on a website and anyone in any state can make a donation. Again, not all nonprofits know of the “Charleston Principle” requiring these additional registrations, but the fines for not registering are far too costly.

You can review the financial information of any nonprofit organization through a number of websites listed.  Some websites charge a fee for complete access to information, and other websites do not.  Typical practice of nonprofits is to simply post their annual 990 on their own website for ready access to prospective donors.

IRS Master File (Search by the state in which the nonprofit was registered)  http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Exempt-Organizations-Business-Master-File-Extract-EO-BMF

Economic Research Institute http://www.eri-nonprofit-salaries.com  

Guidestar.org http://www.guidestar.org

If an organization receives less than $25,000 in annual revenue they are typically not required to submit an annual 990 IRS tax return. If you cannot find a 990 report on a nonprofit they either are not receiving more than $25K in donations, or their staff/volunteers do not know or want to bother with filing annual reports (which is in violation of IRS nonprofit guidelines).  

MOUs and other collaborations
Some nonprofits may have “memorandums of understanding” (MOUs) to work with other nonprofits or for-profit companies.   These MOUs will define the type of “working relationship” between the entities. Typically, the MOUs are between entities with very similar missions, and they collaborate to gain strength as nonprofits.  Funders want nonprofits to collaborate on projects, programs, or actions simply due to the limited funds available to nonprofits.  A nonprofit, like any business, needs to survive its first five years in order to be viewed as supported by the public/constituents, and show grant funders the organization is well-managed, and fulfilling a mission that meets a need.

Funding sources
Historically, nonprofits receive corporate foundation grants from corporations that are viewed as “causing the problem,” and are sometimes the reason the nonprofit developed in the first place.   Nonprofits should not be “tainted” because they are receiving funding from those corporate foundations.  Many nonprofits in the U.S. often receive funding from the very same corporations the nonprofit cites as “causing the problem.”   The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 helped to create the “strange bedfellows” of housing advocates and big banks.   The CRA required financial institutions to use their corporate foundations to provide funding support of nonprofits, who in turn provided financial literacy programs, affordable housing for the poor, supportive housing for the disabled and mentally ill, home repair programs for the elderly, and more.  These housing advocates were not “tainted” by the association with the funding from the big banks.  The housing advocates today work with the big banks, but also continue to hold them accountable for their actions.   And these funding situations of “strange bedfellows” continues in a variety of nonprofits supporting the work of these nonprofits, but not influencing the work.  Funding for nonprofits is comprised of grants, corporate support, donations from individuals, and possibly program income.  For the first 3-5 years a new nonprofit relies “on the kindness of strangers” and donations from generous individuals.  Foundation leaders want to see a 990 report showing strong support from individual donors, which tells the Foundation the community supports this nonprofit, and there is a need for the nonprofit.

Corporate or Private Foundation grants
The criteria of any funding support is in the grant application for the funds.  A good nonprofit manager (and a good donor) will always abide by the description of the program or project to support with NO influence as to the outcomes. Sadly, some nonprofits and donors think a donation “buys them influence.”  It should not!  If it does, that nonprofit is violating its mission, violating the trust of its donors/members, and is an unethical and unprofessional nonprofit.

Typically, a nonprofit writes a grant application to a corporate foundation.  That grant application by the nonprofit defines the project seeking funding support, the objectives of the project, the timeline, service population, and projected outcomes.  The corporate foundation does not adjust the goals of the project, they only choose to award funding or not based on the application by the nonprofit.  All grant funded projects are evaluated at the end of the grant, and a final report submitted to the funder on the success of the project they helped to support.  The funder does not influence the evaluation of the grant project; if they try to, a reputable nonprofit will ignore it.    It is RARE that one single funder financially supports an entire project.  Typically, grant writers have to write three times as many grants needed in order to be awarded enough grant funding to support a project.  Reputable funders, whether corporate foundations, individuals, or private foundations, would find it unethical to attempt to “influence” the actions of a nonprofit through monetary donations.

Sure, politics will often get in the way.  Especially when it is the local government handing out the funding.  The “influence” typically meted out is simply “denial of funding support.”  No matter who holds the purse strings, funds can either be awarded on a fair and competitive basis, or depending on local politics, is only awarded to those who “do not make waves.”  It is only AFTER funds may be awarded, if a governmental entity attempts to violate the grant contract through “influence,” is when a reputable, honorable nonprofit should “make waves.”  Influence such as that is a violation of the grant contract, and the public’s trust.  Most nonprofits will let other nonprofits know who are the funders of “ill repute,” and nonprofits will cease to work with those funders.

Bottom line–Which nonprofit should you support?
You should support the nonprofit that supports you.  Nonprofits typically have only their “service” to provide to donors: their education programs, advocacy work, and their support of what concerns you.  Their service to you, and for you is the “product” they have to “sell.”   Support the nonprofit that supports you.  If you are still unsure ask yourself some questions to determine where to make your donations:
•    Does the nonprofit support my concerns?
•    Does the nonprofit act on its mission through its program or project activities?
•    Does the nonprofit collaborate with others?
•    Does the nonprofit respond to me when I contact them?
•    Does the nonprofit support local, state, or national issues? And, are those issues of concern to me?
•    Did the nonprofit file their IRS 990 and can I easily find it through the internet, or on their own website?
•    Does this nonprofit support other groups/programs I support, such as educational meetings, conferences, industry events, and does the nonprofit participate in person at these events?
•    And the most important question: what do others think of the nonprofit?

The general definition of a nonprofit organization is for “the purpose of serving a public or mutual benefit other than the pursuit or accumulation of profits for owners or investors.”  (Kate Luckert, Graduate Student, Case Western Reserve University, http://learningtogive.org/papers/paper41.html )

Nonprofit organizations are publicly supported or member supported organizations.  As a donor you should ask these questions, as a member you have a right to know the answers to these questions.

To review the Pollinator Stewardship Council’s IRS 990, learn about our projects, and more, browse our website.


 Natl Strategy- Poll habitat on fed lands-1

Natl Strategy- Poll habitat on fed lands-2

“But the good functioning of ecosystems also requires fungi, algae, worms, insects, reptiles and an innumerable variety of microorganisms. Some less numerous species, although generally unseen, nonetheless play a critical role in maintaining the equilibrium of a particular place.”

Francis (2015, May 24). Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis, On Care for Our Common Home [Encyclical Letter]. Retrieved from http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html, Page 10


Honey Bee Health Coalition Releases Guide to Help Beekeepers Detect, Control Varroa Mite Infestations

Guide Equips Beekeepers of All Types with Tools to Tackle Parasite, Strengthen Hive Health

The Honey Bee Health Coalition, a diverse coalition dedicated to improving the health of honey bees and other pollinators, released a guide today aimed at helping beekeepers strengthen hive health by controlling the Varroa mite (Varroa destructor). This parasitic mite undermines honey bee health by literally draining the life from honey bees, spreading viral diseases, and wiping out vast numbers of hives along with the pollination services these bees provide. As a result, these tiny mites are one of the biggest threats to honey bees and global food production.

“Varroa mites are one of the most serious threats to honey bee health and hives across North America,” said Bob Sears, President of the Eastern Missouri Beekeepers Association. “This straightforward guide, compiled using the best available scientific and commercial information, will equip beekeepers — from hobbyists to commercial — with effective and environmentally sensitive approaches to monitoring as well as control techniques to ensure their colonies can endure.”

“These problematic parasites have demonstrated a startling resiliency and ability to spread to other honey bee colonies,” said Christi Heintz, Executive Director of Project Apis m. “This guide, developed by leading honey bee health experts, will ensure beekeepers can more easily confront the problem of Varroa mite infestations, better protect their own bees, and mitigate the parasites’ abilities to move into other nearby apiaries.”

The Honey Bee Health Coalition worked with Dr. Dewey Caron, emeritus professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware and affiliate professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Horticulture, to gather input from leading experts on Varroa mite control. The resulting guide identifies straightforward, proactive, and flexible monitoring methods and guidelines to help beekeepers detect and control Varroa mites.

The guide, which can be found at http://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/Varroa, lays out an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy for managing Varroa mite infestations; including how to monitor mite levels, chemical and non-chemical methods to control the mites, and methods to determine which treatment is appropriate for a beekeeper to use at different phases in a colony’s life cycle.

About the Honey Bee Health Coalition
The Honey Bee Health Coalition brings together beekeepers, growers, researchers, government agencies, agribusinesses, conservation groups, manufacturers and brands, and other key partners to improve the health of honey bees and other pollinators. Its mission is to collaboratively implement solutions that will help to achieve a healthy population of honey bees while also supporting healthy populations of native and managed pollinators in the context of productive agricultural systems and thriving ecosystems. The Coalition is focusing on accelerating collective impact to improve honey bee health in four key areas: forage and nutrition, hive management, crop pest management, and communications, outreach and education.

Through its unique network of private and public sector members, the Coalition fosters new partnerships, leverages existing efforts and expertise, and incubates and implements new solutions. The Coalition brings together diverse resources to promote communication, coordination, collaboration, and investment to strategically and substantively improve honey bee health in North America.  More information, including a list of Honey Bee Health Coalition members, can be found at: http://honeybeehealthcoalition.org


A Survey of Imidacloprid Levels in Water Sources Potentially Frequented by Honeybees (Apis mellifera) in the Eastern USA
J. D. Johnson & J. S. Pettis
Received: 2 April 2014 /Accepted: 13 August 2014
The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at


Imidacloprid, a water-soluble neonicotinoid pesticide used globally in many applications, has been the subject of numerous studies (1) to determine its sublethal effects (5–100 ppb, LD50 ∼200 ppb) on honeybees. This study was undertaken to determine, by ELISA assay, the presence of imidacloprid in water sources potentially frequented by honeybees in urban, suburban, and rural environments across the state of Maryland. Eighteen sites (six samples/site) were chosen which spanned diverse habitats including golf courses, nursery, livestock and crop farms, residential neighborhoods, and cityscapes. Hives were present either at or within 0.5 miles of each site. Imidacloprid was quantifiable in 8 % of the samples at sublethal levels (7– 131 ppb). They were not clustered at any one type of site. Results for 13 % of the samples were at the threshold of detection; all others were below the detection limit of the assay (<0.2 ppb).
Neonicotinoids Found In About Half of U.S. Streams

USGS discovered insecticides known as neonicotinoids in a little more than half of both urban and agricultural streams sampled across the United States and Puerto Rico, according to a study by the agency published today in Environmental Chemistry.

This study, conducted from 2011 to 2014, represents the first national-scale investigation of the environmental occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural and urban settings. The research spanned 24 states and Puerto Rico and was completed as part of ongoing USGS investigations of pesticide and other contaminant levels in streams.

“In the study, neonicotinoids occurred throughout the year in urban streams while pulses of neonicotinoids were typical in agricultural streams during crop planting season,” said USGS research chemist Michelle Hladik, the report’s lead author.

“The occurrence of low levels in streams throughout the year supports the need for future research on the potential impacts of neonicotinoids on aquatic life and terrestrial animals that rely on aquatic life,” said USGS scientist Kathryn Kuivila, the research team leader. “These results will serve as an important baseline for that future work.”

The foundational study is the first step needed to set priorities for environmental exposure experiments and the potential for adverse impacts to terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Scientists and others have raised concerns about potential harmful effects of neonicotinoids on non-target insects, especially pollinating honey bees and native bees.

In May, the White House released the Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, which includes a Pollinator Research Action Plan.
“This research will support the overall goals of the Strategy, by helping to understand whether these water-borne pesticides, particularly at the low levels shown in this study, pose a risk for pollinators,” said Mike Focazio, program coordinator for the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program.

At least one of the six neonicotinoids tested by USGS researchers was found in more than half of the sampled streams. No concentrations exceeded the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s aquatic life criteria, and all detected neonicotinoids are classified as not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.
Detections of the six neonicotinoids varied:  imidicloprid was found in 37 percent of the samples in the national study, clothianidin in 24 percent, thiamethoxam in 21 percent, dinotefuran in 13 percent, acetamiprid in 3 percent, and thiacloprid was not detected.

Use of neonicotinoids to control pest insects has been increasing over the past decade, especially on corn and soybeans. Much of this increase is due to a shift from leaf applications to using the insecticides prophylactically on seeds (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es506141g ).

The paper, “First National-Scale Reconnaissance of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Streams across the USA,” was published in Environmental Chemistry.  To learn more about the study, please see our science feature (http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/2015-08-18-national_neonics.html ).

 “The incessant growing of corn and soybeans means “heavy applications of chemical pesticides and fertilizers are made to the same land year after year.” “Most of chemicals remain in the upper 1-3 inches of topsoil, and their routes and rates of degradation under field conditions are often not known,” she said.  “It is surprising and somewhat alarming how little information is available  on the individual or collective effects of these chemicals on the soil microflora and –fauna (soil microplants and animals) and on the long-term fertility of the topsoil, one of our most important resources.” Rosmarie von Rumker, EPA contractor quoted in Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA, by E.G. Vallianatos, 2014,  pg. 43

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