…Bradford woman accused of burglarizing mother’s home….Mansfield man arrested for vehicle theft….ID theft investigated in Tioga County….Grant will help honey bee queen rearing……

State police at Lewis Run have arrested 32 year old Tanya Graves of Bradford for burglary. Troopers claim Graves entered the Lewis Run  home of Betty Lechiara through a window, then kicked down an inside door and stole a large water jug containing several hundred dollars worth of pennies. After a full investigation, Graves, who is the victim’s daughter provided a written confession.

Kylee Cooper, 21, Mansfield  of has been charged with theft, receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia and disorderly conduct in connection to theft of a motor vehicle. The 2010 Nissan Maxima belongs to Logan Cadek of Wellsboro and Linda Cadek of Gillett and was taken from Jackson Township February 18.

Troopers at Mansfield are investigating an ID theft in which a criminal tried to apply for unemployment benefits using personal information belonging to Carla Fuller of Middlebury Center. While the victim did not lose any money, when she was notified of the attempt by her employer, she contacted state police.

A 2012Dodge Ram owned by Brett Kennedy of Wellsboro was stolen February 17 in Delmar Township and was recovered on Old Tioga Street. The investigation is continuing.

A Tioga PA driver escaped injury in a one-vehicle accident Saturday afternoon in Jackson Township. State police at Mansfield report Robert McDowell was going south of Route 328 when his Toyota R-Runner rolled over onto the driver’s side after leaving the pavement. McDowell was cited for speeding.

DUI charges have been filed against 37 year old Michael Sutton of Tioga following a one-vehicle crash in front of the Dandy Mart located on Route 287 in Middlebury Township February 4. Apparently Sutton was not hurt.

A St. Marys driver escaped injury Monday afternoon in Fox Township, Elk County. Ridgway based state police  report Aleisha Skok was going south on Skyline Drive when her Honda Civic went out of control on a curve and struck an embankment.

State police at Ridgway have charged a 42 year old Ridgway man with DUI after stopping his 2004 Jeep on the Boot Jack Road in Ridgway Township March 7. Troopers claim the unidentified suspect was driving  under the influence of drugs when he committed multiple traffic violations.

Coudersport based state police arrested a 17 year old Shinglehouse boy for harassment for an incident allegedly taking place March 8 on the Ceres Road. The victim is listed as a 44 year old Shinglehouse woman.

A $217,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program will enable Robyn Underwood, apiculture educator with Penn State Extension, to develop an extension program on honey bee queen rearing and artificial insemination.

Flying Bee

“Honey bees are the most important managed pollinator,” Underwood said. “We need honey bees to help provide high crop yields and a variety of food. One in every three bites of food is due to pollination from honey bees.”

The extension program will provide long-term learning opportunities, including regular lunch-and-learn sessions, online classes and written informational resources, structured educational forums, and in-person workshops. Organizers named the program “EPIQ,” which stands for education about production and insemination of queens.

Underwood said she expects a competitive application process to result in a cohort of about 100 experienced beekeepers participating in queen rearing education at no cost.

Queen rearing means that a beekeeper can boost profits by raising extra queens to sell to other beekeepers, Underwood explained. She aims to increase self-reliance of beekeepers in the Northeast. “The beekeeping community relies on California and Georgia for a lot of our queens,” she said. “We would rather rely less on imports and be more self-sustaining.”

Participants will learn about the anatomy and biology of queens, workers and drones; data collection to select the best bees for breeding; proper care for colonies; techniques to rear queens and drones; and the importance of nutrition.

A select subgroup of participants will receive the training and equipment needed to provide artificial insemination services.

“Artificial insemination is highly advanced and technical,” Underwood said. “Our goal is to have one person in each state who can provide that as a service. Any nearby beekeeper can come to them for controlled breeding.”

Underwood noted that bees normally fly off and mate randomly. Artificial insemination allows beekeepers to mate queens with drones from the best colonies to improve genetic traits. In the long term, selective breeding could help address the biggest problem in the beekeeping industry — the parasitic varroa mite.

“People liken varroa mites on bees to having a tick the size of a dinner plate on your body,” Underwood said. “They pierce the bees and transmit deadly viruses.”

Breeding programs can help bees become genetically resistant to varroa mites, decreasing the need for beekeepers to use mite-killing chemicals in hives.

Underwood explained that the grant will generate learning opportunities to help beekeepers move toward breeding programs, but that breeding programs are not the focus of the award. She expects the grant to last through at least 2025.

The funding will enable Underwood to create intermediate and advanced online beekeeping classes that build upon Beekeeping 101, the beginner course offered through Penn State Extension.

Underwood will partner on the project with Kate Anton, an apiculture technician in the Center for Pollinator Research in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences; other professionals skilled in queen rearing and insemination; and a network of stakeholders in the Northeast.

Funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Northeast SARE offers grants and education to farmers, educators, service providers, researchers and others to address key issues affecting the sustainability of agriculture throughout the Northeast.

The PA Department of Health reports, there have been 43,962 Covid 19 deaths in the state to date. Deaths  in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service area  to date are mostly  holding steady.

Cameron 19

Elk 97

McKean 138

Potter 91

Tioga 190

Allegany (NY) 151

Cattaraugus(NY) 219