BQCV (Black Queen Cell Virus)

BQCV in a queen cell.

So what is a virus? A virus is an infectious agent that parasitizes a host cell to replicate. Viruses can cause clinical symptoms, larvae death, or no symptoms at all. BQCV is caused by a virus in the family Dicistroviridae. … Continue reading

Nectar, Pollen and Pollen Substitute: Keys to a healthy colonly

In this blog I will talk about nectar, pollen and my theories on how honey bees utilize pollen/substitute patties and dry pollen substitute. So why do honey bees collect pollen? It would be hard to ask this question without asking … Continue reading

2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Andrew Ulsamer of the USDA BRL talks to a student about the observation hive. Photo Credit:

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an annual festival held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. that celebrates cultural diversity and traditions. The USDA Bee Research Lab was asked to participate this year as part of the theme “Campus and … Continue reading

Swarm Season

I am sure you have all heard it, or maybe even been fortunate, or rather should I say unfortunate enough, to witness, attempt to prevent, or have your hive succumb to what this year has experienced especially frequently—swarming.  Maryland beekeepers … Continue reading

Examining Bees for White Tyrosine Nodules

Our fall honey bee health, disease, and pest monitoring on hives that have the potential to become breeders has now officially come to an end but will resume again in mid-January. A hiatus from field work provides the opportunity to … Continue reading

Eggs, Larvae, Pupae, and the Queen

Double click on the comb of the honey bee frame in the picture above to see if you can spot eggs in the cells. Double clicking will zoom in to reveal much more detail. Continue reading