The Midwest at its Best

Statue at the National Buffalo Museum. Jamestown, North Dakota.Not many Californians would jump at the opportunity to spend their summer in Minnesota and North Dakota, but not many Californians work with bees either. I was glad to be given the opportunity to work with Katie Lee in the Bee Informed Partnership and pack my bags and relocate to St. Paul at the beginning of June. For the past four years I’ve worked with Sue Cobey at UC Davis, learning how to keep bees and raise queens, working my way up to a full time position taking care of the research hives and lab facilities at the Harry Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility. My time at UC Davis has been invaluable as I was given the chance to become proficient at instrumental insemination of queen bees which in turn allowed me to aid Sue in her collaborative breeding work with California queen breeders. I am excited to be able to continue working with commercial beekeepers in Minnesota and North Dakota this summer, sampling their colonies in the hopes that the resulting data is useful for their breeding programs and for reducing overwinter colony losses. In addition to being a functional member of the Bee Informed Partnership I am also excited to put names to places as Katie and I travel around to different beekeeping operations. My strongest memory of the Midwest prior to this trip is of a half-time show at South Dakota State University’s Hobo Days homecoming game during which a monkey dressed like a cowboy rode on the back of a dog across the football field. That was something. And yes SDSU beat UC Davis handily. I’m looking forward to working with beekeepers here, experiencing the Midwest at its best and then high-tailing it back to the mild California winter to join Mike and Rob on the Bee Tech Team there. Here’s to a productive summer everyone!

Written By: Elizabeth Frost

Elizabeth Frost has written 10 post in this blog.

As a seasonal Field and Lab Technician I work within the California Tech Transfer Team from September through May serving Northern California queen breeders. From June through August I work within the Midwest Tech Transfer Team serving both migratory beekeepers and queen breeders in Minnesota and North Dakota. Services I provide include hive inspection, sampling for Varroa and Nosema, testing breeder queen colonies for hygienic behavior, and assisting in collaborative breeding efforts utilizing instrumental insemination. I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in 2008 from the University of California, Davis with majors in English and Italian and a minor in Entomology. Prior to joining the Tech Transfer Teams within the Bee Informed Partnership I was a Field and Lab Technician at the Harry Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility from 2008 to 2012 under the direction of Susan Cobey at the University of California, Davis. I am based out of University of California Cooperative Extension, Butte County in Oroville, CA and University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.