The BIP Box: February

It is February 18th as we write this with most of our BIP commercial operations in almonds. The weather has been perfect for sampling and as far as we know, none of our teams have been stuck in the mud.  They’ve been extremely busy going through colonies in CA, TX and FL.  The Maryland Lab is working on overdrive to process thousands of samples, turning them around in time to be able to make near real time management changes.

January averages for varroa were at 0.70 mites/100 bees from all the teams and are holding at 0.51 mites/100 bees thus far in February.  Those bees coming from the Midwest have seen the highest mites, but they are still well below the economic threshold.  Nosema seemed to spike in January, with averages from all tech teams at 1.33 billion spores/bee but are now down at an average of 0.89.

Acknowledging and accepting that every year is a different year for beekeeping, having the flexibility to roll with the punches, learning from mistakes and staying on top of an operation is another key to a successful operation.  The only thing that is constant, is change….and varroa mites.

Written By: Karen Rennich

Karen Rennich has written 25 post in this blog.

I am the Executive Director of the Bee Informed Partnership and the Project Manager of the UMD Honey Bee Research Lab. I am fortunate to work closely with all members of our team and other organizations throughout the U.S. and I get to tackle everything from data analysis to field work and all jobs in between to keep our goals in sight and moving toward our milestones. I have a B.S. in ocean engineering from Purdue University and an M.S. in ocean engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. I designed and worked on large, underwater Navy sensor systems when I was employed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for 14 years. I have been a beekeeper for 12 years and manage 10 colonies at home. Seeing the Bee Informed Partnership evolve from paper to reality is exciting and inspiring.