Registering Bee Colonies Helps Protect a Valuable ResourceTuesday, August 17, 2010 | 11:18 am
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is encouraging all beekeepers to register their colonies in compliance with state law and in order to be alerted of diseases and actions that may affect hive health. State law also requires all apiarists or beekeepers re-register with TDA every three years.
“Bee pollination is estimated to contribute as much as $118 million in additional value to Tennessee crops, so it is critical to keep our bee colonies healthy,” said state Apiarist Mike Studer. “By registering Tennessee beekeepers, we are helping protect a very important resource to the state.”
Beekeepers can register online. Once registered, the state apiarist is able to contact beekeepers in the event of a disease outbreak or aerial pesticide spraying in their area. Registration also gives the beekeepers the opportunity for free inspections to make sure their colonies are healthy.
The current outbreak of American Foulbrood in the Upper Cumberland region is an example of why registration is so important. Colonies within a five mile radius of a positive colony must be inspected. American Foulbrood is a highly contagious bacterial disease of honeybee larvae and pupae. Diseased colonies usually die and there are no known treatments to cure the disease.
“We typically find eight cases a year of American Foulbrood in Tennessee,” said Studer. “This week alone, I’ve seen 44 cases of this very contagious disease, so being registered and staying informed is critically important for protecting our bee population.”
Honeybees play an important role in increasing the quantity and quality of many agricultural crops as well as assuring the reproduction of countless species of plants including wildflowers. Also, honeybees provide several other products that are enjoyed by Tennesseans such as honey and bees wax.
For more information on TDA’s Apiary Section or to register, visit www.TN.gov/agriculture/regulatory/apiary.html.
|State Apiarist and local beekeeper Jim Garrison inspect a colony.||299.15 KB|