Golf Course Management

APR 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Honey bees are declining dramatically in many parts of the world . . . If this continues, the summery buzz of bees will become a rare event. It is clear that a wide range of issues are all contributing to this decline, including parasites, diseases, changes in farming practices, pesticides, loss of wildfowers and poor summers. — William Kirk, Ph.D., co-author of "Plants for Bees" have an anaphylactic reaction requiring immediate medical attention. Preloaded epinephrine syringes (AnaGuard or Epipen) are available for emergency use. It would be good to have some on hand and know how to use them in case of a problem. Three to six puffs of an asthma inhaler such as Medihaler-Epi will relieve chest tightness and swelling of the throat. With less severe reactions, antihistamines may be administered by injection or given orally. A rapidly acting antihistamine such as Phenergan is best. Cortisone is also very effective, but takes a few hours to act. Check with your local town council about regulatory requirements. Local beekeeping organizations and beekeepers also will tell you what you can and cannot do. Here is a little secret: A gift of sweet local honey has been known to gain the approval of nearby residents for the apiary. Beekeeping and the environment Are pesticides the cause of colony collapse disorder (CCD) in honey bees? As a golf course superintendent and beekeeper for the last 21 years, I have often worried about this. I recently attended a seminar hosted by the Center for Honey Bee Research in Asheville, where I heard a presentation by Roger Simonds, manager of the USDA National Science Laboratory in Online resources for beekeepers The Environmental Institute for Golf (www.eifg.org) The Xerces Society (www.xerces.org) Beekeeping Naturally by Michael Bus (www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm) Bees for Development (www.beesfordevelopment.org/) Paul Sheppard (www.thehoneybeesteward.com) Delaware Department of Agriculture (http://dda.delaware.gov) American Bee Journal (www.americanbeejournal.com/) International Bee Research Association (IBRA) (www.ibra.org.uk) Bee Culture Magazine of American Beekeeping (www.beeculture.com) Audubon International (www.auduboninternational.org/) The Pollinator Partnership (www.pollinator.org/guides.htm) 50 GCM April 2013 Gastonia, N.C. Researchers there had studied the pesticide residues in beehives (wax, pollen, bees), and the list of pesticides that appeared in their study got my attention at once as I noticed some of my best turf management "tools." To read the complete study, go to www.plosone.org/ article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal. pone.0009754. Superintendents are highly trained in the use and application of pesticides, and GCSAA has been very proactive in developing a sustainable approach to golf course management. As the association reported in its Golf Course Environmental Profile, golf courses in the U.S. have increased nonturfgrass acres by 44 percent — an average increase of 9.8 acres — since 1996. I believe that by making some adjustments to our practices and expectations for turf quality, we can make a big difference in our golf course's environmental footprint. Much of what has caused the decline in honey bee populations is now known to have links to the degradation of the natural environment that the bees depend on for their survival. But the golf industry has made a concerted effort not only to protect the natural environment, but also to enhance it through the efforts of groups such as GCSAA's Environmental Institute for Golf, Audubon International (most notably through its Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses) and the Golf Environmental Organization. The benefits of bees You may discover that honey bees are so fascinating that you get involved yourself. For me, beekeeping has been the greatest link to my awareness of the environment. Every time I have to make a turf pesticide application I think in terms of how it may affect the bees. This drives me to look for natural alternatives and sharpen my focus on integrated pest management (IPM) and best management practices (BMP) at my golf course. It has been an easy and natural learning curve for me to become involved in environmental stewardship. The United States has a master beekeeper program in almost every state that would be good to get involved with. Even if you don't become a master beekeeper yourself, it would be good to get an interested staff member involved or to get a certificate in beekeeping. For international superintendents, there are beekeepers and beekeep-

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