JulyAugust 1999 Coumaphos Strips Starthistle_ Again Small Hive

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JulyAugust 1999 Coumaphos Strips  Starthistle_ Again Small Hive Powered By Docstoc
					                                    July/August 1999

    Coumaphos Strips             Starthistle, Again
    Small Hive Beetle            1999 Almond Crop
    Tank Contamination           USDA Public Land Guidelines
    New Bee Virologist           Insecticidal Chalk
    Resistant Varroa             Pesticide Use Modeling

Coumaphos Strips

   Not much has changed, but    amount of residue) for
a little clarification is       coumaphos in honey. The
necessary. CheckMite+® strips   product is registered for
(10% coumaphos) are now         non-food" use and, therefore,
available to California         should never occur in the
beekeepers on a "Section 18."   product. Technically, this
They can be purchased in 10-    is a bit different from a
packs (at $28 per pack) or      "zero tolerance" which is
100-packs (at $151 per pack)    used with extremely dangerous
from Mann Lake Ltd. in          materials.
Minnesota [(800)233-6663].
Only Dadant has a license to       As with Apistan®,
sell restricted chemicals to    CheckMite+ can be used only
beekeepers in California and    when there isn't any honey for
they have opted not to handle   human consumption being
CheckMite+.                     produced by the bees. Be
                                careful of cases where bees
   You don't need a permit or   were bringing in nectar loads
license to buy the strips,      and making honey in the brood
but you do need to visit the    nest while the strips were in
County Agricultural             the hive. Moving the honey out
Commissioner to get the         of the brood nest, to relieve
"labeling" and permit that      congestion, may put the frames
you must have in order to USE   in locations where honey is
the product.                    harvested at another time of
                                the year. You do not want to
   It is true that there is     accidentally harvest the honey
not (and probably never will    produced while the strips were
be) a tolerance (acceptable     present.
   Washington State Apiarist         and gulf climate, remains the
Jim Bach asked a similar             most seriously affected area.
question about moving brood          At the same time, beekeepers
combs around while using the         in the Piedmont who have had
Demaree system of swarm              beetles as long as anybody
control. The answer for              are experiencing only minor
Apistan was that, "Treated           problems. It is easy to
brood nest combs should only         speculate that heavy clay
be used as brood combs and           soils may not be as conducive
should never be used for             to successful beetle
containing honey destined for        pupation.
human consumption or,
beekeepers should keep brood            A second trend is that
nest supers and combs                available controls are
separate from surplus honey          working reasonably well. The
combs."                              combined use of coumaphos
                                     strips (CheckMite+ Bee Hive
Small Hive Beetle                    Pest Control Strip) with the
                                     soil insecticide Gard Star®
   Here is what Dr. Keith            has kept beetle numbers
Ddaplane had to say about            manageable.
Aethina tumida in Georgia this
year, from the Georgia Bee              The third trend has been
Letter, August 1999. "There          the restriction by certain
is good news and bad news in         states against package bees
1999 concerning the small            and queens from Georgia. In
hive beetle. The bad news is,        spite of this, most package
it is still here and still a         producers in Georgia are
serious problem in certain           reporting a good season.
operations. The good news is
that controls are working and           A fourth trend is the
it has not spread much               realization that the beetle
outside of the areas in which        is somewhat independent of
it was most damaging in 1998.        honey bees. Tests by USDA
We cannot predict the                have shown that the beetle
ultimate effects of this pest        can complete its life cycle
on beekeeping in the                 on decaying cantaloupes and
Southeast. But from a                other fruits. The adults are
distance of 15 months since          vigorous flyers and can move
its first Georgia detection          independent of migratory
in May 1998, we can point out        beekeeping. This makes
some trends.                         targeted control more
   The most notable trend is
that beetle problems seem               A fifth trend is a growing
worse in coastal areas and           paranoia among beekeepers
areas with sandy soils. This         about the increasingly
is clearly the case in               chemical-intense nature of
Georgia and South Carolina.          modern beekeeping. The
Florida, with its sandy soils        addition of coumaphos, a
member of the relatively old        been used to apply 2,4-D.
class of organo-phosphate
insecticides, to the hive              As early as 1955 2,4-D
environment has renewed             residues in spray rigs were
concerns for honey                  deemed to be a problem and
contamination and handler           studies were done on zinc,
safety. EPA still recognizes        copper, tin, iron, aluminum
a zero tolerance for                and glass to see what it took
coumaphos in honey. Thus,           to rinse off the residue.
beekeepers must follow label
instructions explicitly to
avoid honey contamination and          Nearly all the loose
a public relations fiasco.          residue was rinsed off in the
                                    first of four consecutive
   The USDA has taken               water rinses. However,
responsible steps to study          soaking the strips in water
and control the small hive          for 24 hours showed that more
beetle. It is sending a team        2,4-D is released over time.
of scientists this autumn to        Iron and zinc (galvanized
South Africa to study the           iron) released the most.
beetle in its native habitat        Cooper and glass had trace
and search for natural              amounts and tin had none.
predators and parasites.
Tests continue for an adult            The conclusion of the
trap and pheromone lure.            study stated, "It may be
University studies are              stated that the only really
examining sampling methods,         safe way to avoid 2,4-D
in-hive adult traps, and            contamination in sprayers is
other control options. The          to maintain separate sprayers
beekeeping industry has             for sensitive plants". The
proven itself resilient, and        Farm Advisors recommend that,
we must remain optimistic           "... any sprayer previously
that this challenge too will        used to apply 2,4-D not be
be met."                            used on these sensitive
                                    crops. If such a sprayer must
Tank Contamination                  be used, it should be washed
                                    thoroughly before spraying
                                    cotton or grapes."
   Without including all the
background and details, I
wish to relay the information          Perhaps this mechanism is
from an article in Vol. 13,         involved when beekeepers
August 1999 Agronomics              experience bee kills
published by Madera and             following nearby applications
Merced County Farm Advisors.        of agrochemicals that should
The article deals with three        be harmless to bees.
cases of accidental injury to
crops (cotton twice, grapes         New Bee Virologist
once) when a spray rig was
used to apply another                  The honey bee lab at Penn
agrochemical after it had           State University has added a
new scientist to its staff.            Yellow starthistle may be
Virologist, Dr. Joachin De          California's "thorniest"
Miranda, has set his sights         problem, currently infesting
on "deformed wing," "black          up to 22 million acres or
queen cell," or any other           about 22% of the state,
identifiable virus that can         according to Food and
be studied in depth. If you         Agriculture (CDFA).
think that you see something
odd going on in your bees,             Once a minor annoyance, it
contact Dr. De Miranda and          is now the state's most
see if he wants a sample. His       widely distributed weed. It
e-mail is                           quickly dominates any area it If         infests, making ranchland
you wish to speak to him, the       unusable, hiking trails
lab phone number is: (814)          impassable, and wildlands
865-2810.                           uninhabitable for a wide
                                    range of native plants and
Resistant Varroa?                   animals. It can be fatal to
                                    horses if ingested in high
   If you have Varroa mites         doses.
that can walk around for
hours on a fresh Apistan               But now, thanks to years
strip without dying, Dr.            of scientific research and a
Zachary Huang wants your            recent lucky accident,
mites. The best bet would be        scientists may be turning the
to find young, infested drone       corner in their quest for
pupae, cut out a chunk of           control of this noxious pest.
comb, wrap it in paper
towels, and send to: Dr.               In this issue of
Zachary Huang, Department of        California Agriculture, UC,
Entomology, Michigan State          CDFA and U.S. Department of
University, East Lansing, MI        Agriculture scientists report
48824. If you wish to speak         on a newly registered growth
to Dr. Huang call: (517) 353-       control herbicide, mowing as
8136.                               a cultural control, and
                                    biological control agents.
Starthistle, Again
                                       Biological control efforts
   "Can Integrate Methods           were recently boosted by the
Stop Starthistle?" read the         accidental introduction of
headline of an editorial in         the false peacock fly.
the March-April issue of            Although six other biocontrol
California Agriculture. A           agents had previously been
picture of the false peacock        released, this seventh,
fly on a starthistle head           uninvited guest was the first
adorns the cover. The               to sharply reduce late-season
editorial covers many studies       starthistle seed.
in general terms; the details
are in the articles.                   Starthistle is a
                                    prodigious seed-producer, and
remarkably, 95% of its seeds        Cooperative Extension weed
germinate. What's more, its         scientist Jose DiTomaso and
flowering and germination           colleagues report on trials
continue from May through           using a newly registered
September.                          growth-control herbicide
                                    clopyralid (tradename
   "Unlike the other                Transline). They have
biocontrol established here,        developed guidelines for its
false peacock fly has               use, as well as for the most
multiple generations per            effective use of a cultural
year, and its attack is             control, mowing.
sustained throughout yellow
starthistle's lengthy                  Due to environmental
flowering period," says Joe         concerns, few herbicides are
Balciunas, USDA research            registered for use on
entomologist and Yellow             rangelands and wildlands. Of
Starthistle Biocontrol              those that are, few are
Project Leader. "None of the        active in the soil against
other approved and establish        seeds that may germinate for
agents attack these late-           months.
blooming flowers."
                                       The new growth regulator
   Scientists have found that       clopyralid, however, controls
false peacock fly has               starthistle by arresting its
attacked from 36% to 50% of         development at the growing
starthistle seed heads at           point both on the plant and
sites where it has recently         on the seedlings that
established; seed heads             germinate in the soil. It
containing the fly's larva          provides better than 95%
have 78% less seed. By              control with residual
contrast the true peacock fly       activity throughout the
- which is physically almost        starthistle season.
identical to its "false"
counterpart - has never been           Clopyralid is selective,
observed to attack more than        affecting only a few plants.
5% of starthistle seed heads.       (These plants include not
                                    only noxious thistles but
   While the false peacock          some legumes such as clover,
fly has managed to establish        alfalfa, and vetch.) Because
itself at many locations            of clopyralid's relative
throughout the state, its use       safety, it can also be used
cannot yet be recommended           in combination with livestock
because it has not been             grazing.
approved for release. Its
host range is now being                DiTomaso, in collaboration
tested; early results suggest       with CDFA entomologist
is does not adversely affect        Michael Pitcairn, is
commercial crops.                   examining joint use of
                                    biological control agents and
  Also in this issue, UC            the new growth regulator
herbicide. DiTomaso and UC          at this time of the year were
colleagues are also studying        640, 310, 530, 680, and 540
combinations of burning,            million pounds. Obviously,
reseeding, herbicide use and        this years crop could
biocontrol.                         stimulate a drop in wholesale
                                    meat prices. Apparently this
   "In addition to managing         is already happening to a
yellow starthistle, our goal        certain extent. However, the
is to develop a healthy and         Almond Broad of California
sustainable system," says           has voted to hold 22.36% of
DiTomaso. "No single control        this year's crop in
method is enough to do this,        "reserve," thus reducing the
but a combination of methods        supply in the hope of
may."                               maintaining prices. Will this
                                    whopper year be followed by
   "The specific plan you may       more like it? If so, a whole
develop for any particular          bunch of people had better
infested area would depend on       start eating a lot more
your goals. For instance, if        almonds.
you want to restore perennial
grass forage to a thistle-             In the July 1999 issue of
infested grazing area, you          Nut Grower there was an
could use clopyralid, or            article on almond plantings.
clopyralid plus glyphosate,         A table showed that there are
in the first year, then             currently 420,483 bearing
reseed with a desirable             acres of almonds in
perennial grass, and use            California. There are an
clopyralid a second year. In        additional 80,632 acres of
subsequent years, the               non-bearing almonds totaling
combination of competitive          501,115 that will require
perennial grass and the             honey bees over the next
biocontrol agents would be          decade.
expected to maintain low
levels of starthistle."                Gary Nelson, Agricultural
                                    Statistician, for California
   If you are interested in         Agricultural Statistics
obtaining a free subscription       Services, states that non-
to California Agriculture,          reported and underreported
just call (510) 987-0044 or         acreage (voluntary data from
e-mail              5,234 growers) probably
                                    pushes the numbers up to
1999 Almond Crop                    573,000 acres in the ground
                                    with 480,000 in production.
   This year's almond crop          Kern and Merced Counties each
appears to be a big one.            have about 72,000 acres (17%
Current estimates, published        of the total each) in
in the August 1999 Nut Grower       production, but Kern County
Magazine, are 830 million           has another 25,276 acres
meat pounds. Comparatively,         planted and will have nearly
forecasts for the years 94-98       a fifth of the states bearing
acres before long.                  markets and ethnic grocery
                                    stories. The packaging does
USDA Public Lands Guidelines        not carry a list or amount of
                                    active ingredients and in
                                    fact, contains high levels of
   Washington State's Apiary        lead and other heavy metals,
Advisory Committee, the Bee         itself.
Pasture Subcommittee and the
Washington State Departments           The greatest fear is that
of Natural Resources and Fish       children will get their hands
and Wildlife worked out a           on the chalk and eat it. That
suggested set of guidelines         has happened a number of
for using public and private        times. Secondly, you have no
lands for apiary locations.         idea of what poison is there
The guidelines are four pages       and how safe or unsafe it is
long - too much for                 just to touch the product.
regurgitation in this               (You are instructed to draw a
newsletter. However, I would        line and the insects that
be happy to send a copy upon        cross the line will be
request, or you can get one         killed.)
from Jim Bach, Washington
State Apiarist at (509) 225-
2607 or at           If you happen to notice
                                    the availability of such a
                                    product, report the source to
Insecticidal Chalk                  your County Agricultural
                                    Commissioner and Sealer of
   I remember a beekeeper           Weights and Measures. Or,
asking me a long time ago if        call George Farnsworth in
I knew where he could obtain        Sacramento, at (916) 445-
some more insecticidal chalk        3873.
for ant control around his
hives. At that time, I had          Pesticide Use Modeling
never heard of it. Since
then, I actually have seen it          The following article,
in a few locations, but             from the July 1999 issue of
didn't think much about it.         Sacramento Cooperative
                                    Extension's Tree and Vine
                                    Newsletter, explains how
   The California Department        California's vast pesticide
of Pesticide Regulation just        use database can be put to
sent me a thick packet of           constructive use.
material pertaining to
insecticidal chalk and they            Pesticide Use and Residue
want to get rid of it.              Modeling in California by
Unfortunately, the products         Debbie Browning. "As the
do not move through the             agricultural community moves
normal pesticide channels and       into the next century, we as
Miraculous Insecticide Chalk        growers, farm advisors,
and Chinese Chalk show up in        integrated pest managers,
ads on the Internet, flea           consumers, pesticide
manufactures, scientists and        of pesticide use and residue
regulators are challenged           data available in California.
with updating the way               Consumers living in
pesticide residue risks are         California are fortunate in
determined in the state of          that the state produces a
California and across the           large variety of fruits and
country. These determinations       vegetables with extensive
could potentially change            pesticide use reporting
pesticide availability,             requirements. California
value, cost and use                 requires that all commercial
practices.                          agricultural pesticide
                                    applications be reported. As
   In response to consumer          a state, California has been
concern over dietary exposure       the nation's leader in the
to pesticide residues, the          production of food and
Food Quality Protection Act         agricultural products for 50
was enacted in 1996. The act        years; it grows 55% of the
establishes a single standard       nation's fruits, nuts and
for all pesticide residue           vegetables and produces
tolerances in processed food        nearly every product of the
and raw agricultural                food alphabet. From this
commodities. The                    large and diversified crop
Environmental Protection            region comes a variety of
Agency (EPA) is tasked with         inexpensive produce and
determining whether                 equally important, data
tolerances are "safe",              ideally suited to pesticide
defined as "a reasonable            residue modeling. No other
certainty that no harm will         state within the nation can
result from aggregate               boast such a large, extensive
exposure." The EPA must             and comprehensive database
additionally consider               that can be correlated with
cumulative risks from               residue data gathered and
pesticides possessing a             reported by the Food and Drug
common mechanism of toxicity        Administration and the United
and determine if additional         States Department of
protection is required for          Agriculture.
infants and children. The EPA
must also reevaluate all its           Initial correlation of use
past decisions about                data to weather patterns,
pesticide levels in food,           pest threats, application
using best possible science         patterns, production
in risk assessment decisions.       requirements and historical
                                    knowledge develops a means of
   This reevaluation process        equating seasonal conditions
presents the opportunity to         with expected residues.
update the way pesticide            Because weather, pests,
residue risks are determined.       machinery, and production
As a graduate student at U.C.       requirements change year to
Davis, my challenge is to           year, modeling efforts
optimally utilize the wealth
quickly become complex but          ERIC MUSSEN
simplification to a single          ENTOMOLOGY DEPARTMENT
commodity, single geographic        UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
location and single pesticide       ONE SHIELDS AVENUE
system is a reasonable              DAVIS, CA 95616-8584
starting point."                    [(530) 752-0472]
                                    [FAX (530) 752-1537]

Eric Mussen
Entomology Extension
University of California
Davis, CA   95616


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