Buzz at the Apiary
bees have been busy this summer gathering nectar
and pollen. Have you seen an increase in bee
activity in your yards this summer? The hives have
been growing, and the hope for a good honey crop
in October is good.
One of the parasites that have
affected bees terribly for the past 30 years has
been the Varroa Mite. John Crist, Apiary Director,
believed that the mites were a big problem last
year for the hives to have become so weakened.
Besides attaching themselves to the bees and
weakening them, the mites also introduce unhealthy
viruses into the hive. However, there is growing
evidence that the bees are beginning to adapt to
the presence of mites in their hives. Several
places around the country are reporting bees
attacking the mites in various ways. At Purdue
University queens are producing workers that bite
the legs off mites. The bees from Purdue are
called "ankle biters". Florida is
reporting queens producing workers that are called
Recently, John became
part of the Heartland Queen Improvement Project,
an effort to get queens into Western Pennsylvania
that had the genetic traits for managing mites.
John recently placed a hive with a Purdue Queen in
the apiary. Five weeks later he discovered two
mites were missing legs. This was a very exciting
Since adult mites are about the size of
a pencil dot, what enabled John to see the missing
legs on the mites was the recent purchase by the
Conservancy of a digital microscope. With this
tool we will be able to confirm how well our bees
are managing the mite problem. It is now assumed
that mites are in every hive at some level, but
mites only become a problem when the hive isn't
strong enough to manage the mites. At the present
time all the hives appear to be strong enough to
keep the mites to a manageable level. Hopefully,
with bees having the genetics to manage the mite
levels on their own in the hives, the need for
chemicals should decrease. The Board is very
hopeful that with these two additions to the
apiary, the apiary will continue to produce
the generosity of a few donors through the
Pittsburgh Foundation, we will be able to purchase
a honey extractor and some other tools to help
with the maintenance of the beehives and the
harvest of honey.
will be harvested in October and the
Conservancy may have honey for sale at the
tours are available to anyone interested
in viewing the apiary and learning more
about the culture of honeybees. Please
call or email the Conservancy to make
is a swarm?
swarm is a collection of bees that contains at
least one queen that has split from the mother
colony to establish a new one. A swarm is a
natural method of propagation of honeybees. While
working at the Apiary last year, we came
upon a swarm that is pictured above.
are bees important?
between 75% and 95% of all flowering plants on the
earth need help with pollination - they need
pollinators. Honeybees are pollinators.
Pollinators provide pollination services to over
180,000 different plant species and more than 1200
crops. That means that 1 out of every three bites
of food you eat is there because of pollinators.
If we want to talk dollars and cents, pollinators
add 217 billion dollars to the global economy, and
honeybees alone are responsible for between 1.2
and 5.4 billion dollars in agricultural
productivity in the United States. In addition to
the food that we eat, pollinators support healthy
ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils,
protect from sever weather, and support other
Accessed May 31, 2016)
Scott Conservancy is partnering with Tree
Pittsburgh by offering native species trees for
sale at a very favorable cost. Tree Pittsburgh's
mission is to protect and restore Pittsburgh's
urban forest through community tree planting and
care, education, and advocacy. Tree Pittsburgh's
Heritage Nursery seeks to revitalize local
forests, and the important services they provide,
by growing a diverse range of native and heritage
trees for planting efforts. The trees available
for sale have proved both hardy in our local
climates and resilient in modern conditions. The
nursery stock is curated with pride to withstand
vegetative competition and thrive after planting,
even in the toughest conditions. These trees have
resisted weather extremes, soil changes, and
pollution over decades, making them ideal
Conservancy volunteers will
be able to help
with pickup, delivery, and planting of these
reasonably priced trees. We hope you will consider
planting a tree or two on your own property or on
We hope you'll
consider attending the Annual Members Meeting and a special program
with Riverlife whose mission is: To reclaim, restore and promote
Pittsburgh's riverfronts as the environmental, recreational,
cultural and economic hub for the people of this region and our
visitors. Vivien Li, President and CEO of Riverlife, is our special
guest and presenter.
at The Boston Harbor Association (TBHA), Vivien Li worked to promote
a clean, alive, and accessible Boston Harbor. Under her leadership,
The Boston Harbor Association secured $30 million in state funding
to restore Boston Harbor beaches, and launched the Harbor Bound
education program for more than 11,000 inner city students.
has been a major force behind completion of Boston's 41-mile
HarborWalk public access system, focusing attention on sea-level
rise and climate change affecting Boston's waterfront. She
initiated annual free "Working Port" cruises to highlight
Boston's port activities. Vivien has also worked for the Boston
Redevelopment Authority, the National Urban League, and the City of
Newark, New Jersey.
has degrees from Barnard College and Princeton University. She has
been recognized by numerous organizations, including most recently
by the national Sierra Club with its 2015 Walter Starr Award, by the
Boston Society of Architects/Women in Design with a 2015 Award of
Excellence, and by the Women's Lunch Place (social service
organization helping women in poverty) as its 2014 award
December 13th @ 11:30 am
Celebrate the holiday
season by attending the Scott Conservancy Annual Luncheon at
DeBlasio's Restaurant in Virginia Manor Shopping Center. Attendees
will order from the menu and will cover the cost of their own
lunch. Dessert will be provided.
It is always so nice to
get together! Please plan to join us and RSVP so we can notify
The United States Coast Guard
sent volunteers again this year to help make trail improvements to
the Kane Woods Nature Area. They generously came twice this year,
once on August 31, and then again on September 22.
10 volunteers from the Coast Guard worked alongside
Conservancy volunteers to complete much needed work along
The work focused on the Tom the Tinker Trail,
the Liberty Trail, and the walking bridge. Water was also
directed away from the trails. Working in knee-deep water
and mud, they cleaned out the pipe that carries water
under our Tom the Tinker trail.
addition, volunteers moved gravel and rocks to various
areas on our trails that become wet during heavy rains. A
great deal of time was also spent removing branches from a
tree that fell into the stream which caused flooding along
Tom the Tinker trail and we replaced boards on our main
bridge. We appreciate the work accomplished and we cannot
thank them enough because volunteers are so difficult to
Conservancy is a non-profit organization that maintains
two miles of trails in the Kane Woods Nature Area for
community use. It depends on donations and volunteers,
like those from the Coast Guard, above, to
keep the area maintained.
Thanks to the
hard work of William Phifer and Boy Scout Troop 834 based at Our
Lady of Grace Church, many of the native species found growing in
our Kane Woods will soon be identified with signage.
to the Kane Woods trails will then be able to put a name
to many of the plants native to Pennsylvania they see as
walk by. Environmental education is an important part of
the mission of the Conservancy so we are thrilled that
William and Troop 839 have taken on this wonderful
help of friends, family and members of Troop 839, signs
identifying the plants will be placed near the Meadow Walk
Trail located between the Liberty and Neville Trails.
is the son of long time Conservancy members William and
Mary Phifer and is working on becoming an Eagle Scout.
This project, to be completed before Christmas, is one of
many steps that will help him achieve that goal.
photographs from our Solar Eclipse Party.
solar eclipse that can be viewed from the Kane Woods Nature
Area is April 8, 2024.
Did you know that
you could support The Scott Conservancy just by making purchases
on Amazon? Go to smile.amazon.com and set The Scott Conservancy as
your supporting charity. Thank you for your support!
How quickly time
passes. Another year has gone by, and it is time to renew
your membership in The Scott Conservancy. We hope we can
count on your continued support. If you are thinking of
joining, why not attend our upcoming annual meeting, holiday
luncheon or cozy winter campfires?
the last two decades The Scott Conservancy has sponsored programs
designed to increase awareness and appreciation of our natural
resources and is dedicated to the preservation of Scott Township's
green space, an important component of what makes Scott Township
such a desirable place to live.
has placed 77 acres of green space in the Scott Township under
Kane Woods Nature Area with walking trails for community use.
outdoor recreational events.
community education programs
with municipal officials to ensure that environmental issues
are fully considered when development and expansion occurs.
smaller traffic island at the corner of Greentree and Cochran
with other conservancies in the area and with regional
newsletter several times a year.
By making a
yearly donation to The Scott Conservancy you will help us continue
our work in the community. If you are already a member,
please check the mailing label on your newsletter for the date of
your last donation. If you are not currently a member,
consider joining, attend an event and visit our Kane Woods Nature
Area. Your donation is important to us. We hope we can count
on your continued support. Thank you.
TIME: 7:00 pm
PLACE: Scoff Park Lodge
EVENT: Holiday Luncheon
TIME: 11:30 am
PLACE: DeBlasio's Restaurant
Members & Chairpersons
Pitzer, Traffic Island
Patrinos, Newsletter Editor
PO Box 13067
Pittsburgh, PA 15243
1461 Scrubgrass Road
1459 Scrubgrass Road
I wonder whether,
in all the world,
is a monarch so magnificent
athlete so awesome
politician so powerful
lover so lovely
that he has,
like my little mongrel dog,
person who walks behind
and picks up his poop
in a plastic bag.
a Scott Conservancy supporter