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…

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The BIP Box: January

Welcome The BIP Box! Our newest feature also being presented on Project Apis m.  Here we will give you short updates on our BIP Tech Teams and BIP projects.  We look forward to partnering with PAm to help get the word out on BIP activities.  Please join us here each month to learn what we are seeing. January found us meeting with our tech teams and holding our first BIP stakeholder meetings at both national conferences.  Thank you to all that attended and participated! We are concerned about high mite loads in some areas as well as accompanying high losses with associated risks of not…

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Introduction to Megan Wannarka, Senior Laboratory Technician with Midwest Tech Team

As the newest member of the Bee Informed Partnership and Midwest Tech Team, I am learning quickly the ins and outs of the BIP team, sampling techniques, lab diagnostics, and the best part, meeting lots of beekeepers and asking questions. I have been lucky enough to work 4 races (Italian, A. ligustica; Carniolan, A. carnica; Russian, A. caucasica; and African, A. scutellata respectively) of honey bees in 4 different countries (United States, Senegal, The Gambia, and Grenada, respectively) over the past 6 years. Seeing how commercial beekeepers work at a much larger scale is fascinating to me and from what I have seen so far,…

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Interpreting and Understanding the Differences in Honey Bee Colony Loss Numbers From Different National Surveys.

Over the last year, and for the first time, the National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) conducted a survey to monitor colony losses. The Bee Informed Partnership (BIP), in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, has also recently published preliminary loss data covering the same time period. While the core purpose of these two surveys are the same, to track honey bee colony losses in the US, there are significant and important differences in survey design (questions asked), delivery, data presentation, and the methodology by which loss rates are calculated.  These differences mean that dissimilarities in loss rates reported by both surveys are expected. This…

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Nation’s Beekeepers Lost 44 Percent of Bees in 2015-16

Summer losses rival winter losses for the second year running Beekeepers across the United States lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2015 to April 2016, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey. Rates of both winter loss and summer loss—and consequently, total annual losses—worsened compared with last year. This marks the second consecutive survey year that summer loss rates rivaled winter loss rates. The survey, which asks both commercial and small-scale beekeepers to track the health and survival rates of their honey bee colonies, is conducted each year by the Bee Informed Partnership in…

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The National Honey Bee Disease Survey: Varroa & Nosema in the US

The National Honey Bee Disease Survey investigates honey bee apiaries throughout the US to see if three exotic honey bee pests are still absent from our shores. Samples collected from 41 states and two territories reveal that we are still free of the Tropilaelaps mite, Slow bee paralysis virus, and the Asian honey bee Apis cerana.  If you think varroa is tough to manage, its diminutive cousin Tropilaelaps can reproduce much faster, resulting in many more mites feeding on developing honey bee larvae.  We don’t want any of these three exotics as they would add additional stress and pressure to honey bee health. While sampling for…

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National Colony Loss and Management Survey: You’ve Got Questions We’ve Got Answers

Thank you to the 2,500+ beekeepers who already took the survey! As of this morning (4/6/2016), over 2,500 of you already submitted your answers to the Colony Loss Survey and over 1,500 of you continued to the Management Survey. Thank you for your time and continued support! This current rate of participation tracks very well with past years and we are expecting to reach over 7,000 responses by the end of the month. Thank you also for spreading the word about our survey. The traffic on our survey website was very intense on April 1st and we apologize if any of you encountered difficulty or…

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2015-2016 Colony Loss and Management Survey Is Live: Take the Survey Today!

It is April 1st and that can only mean one thing at the Bee Informed Partnership – our National Loss and Management survey is LIVE!  Starting now and continuing until April 30th, your responses from this survey provide invaluable information that helps us obtain a clear picture of honey bee health throughout the country and helps guide best management practices. Thank you for all the beekeepers who, for 10 years now, have taken the time to complete the Colony Loss survey. Additional appreciation goes to those beekeepers who have provided data for our Management survey for the past 5 years. Correlating management practices with colony…

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National Colony Loss and Management 2015-2016 Survey

This is no April's fool!  The 2015 - 2016 National Colony Loss and National Management Survey will be ready to accept submissions starting April 1st and continuing until April 30th.  The results that are received from this survey provide invaluable information that helps us obtain a clear picture of honey bee health throughout the country.  Without the aid of the many beekeepers who participate in this survey we would never be able to obtain the results that we have received in the past and hope to continue to receive in the future.  If you would like to take an early peek at the 2015 –…

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Sentinel Apiary Project

We are breaking ground in modern beekeeping. The stage is set and like most big problems, collaboration is key. As a Sentinel Apiary participant, you will get the tools and information you need to take your beekeeping group to the next level. By doing so you become a guardian of all bees in your region and together we will revolutionize beekeeping. Applications are now available for 2016 and we are seeking beekeeping groups that manage 8 or more stationary colonies. We will arm you with data from Disease Load Monitoring and a Hive Scale so you may combat the challenges of beekeeping. To aid in…

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