Happy New Year!
The beginning of 2021 marks the end of the Sentinel Apiary Program’s sixth successful year—and the beginning of an exciting new one.
In 2020, beekeepers with 76 apiaries representing 394 colonies participated in the Sentinel Program. The University of Maryland lab processed almost 2,000 Sentinel samples over the season to monitor Varroa and Nosema! You can see in the map of Sentinel Apiary Locations shown below that we worked with beekeepers from six of the nine NOAA climatic regions (the regions with the most consistent climates across the US).
The newly released Sentinel 2020 End of Year Report details 2020’s seasonal data and trends. Varroa loads for Sentinel participants were lower than the national average in May, August, September, and October. They were slightly above average in June and July, and much higher in November. It’s important to mention there were far fewer Sentinel samples received in November than May through October (see the “2020 Sentinel Kits Received and Processed” chart below).
One noteworthy result from the year is that Varroa were detected in over 70 percent of the samples processed by the lab.
We’re excited to announce a few new additions to this year’s Sentinel Program, including an app, a dashboard, a 12-colony kit, and an online forum—all specifically for our Sentinel participants!
The app will allow participants to enter management data and inspection notes as they go, the dashboard will allow participants to access and download their reports online through our database, and the forum will allow past and present Sentinel participants to communicate in their own community. You can learn more in the Sentinel 2020 End of Year Report.
We would also like to invite you to join us at the American Beekeeping Federation’s 2021 virtual conference! Our Sentinel Apiary Program talk is scheduled Thursday, January 7th, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Register for the ABF 2021 virtual conference here.
ABF has also generously continued their sponsorship program into 2021, which provides up to 50 ABF members with a coupon code for $100 off a Sentinel kit. Thank you ABF!
As always, we appreciate your support. We are so excited to see where the new year takes us!
Registration for the 2021 Sentinel Apiary Program is now open through the end of April, sign up here. Learn more about Sentinel Apiaries at beeinformed.org/citizen-science/sentinel-apiaries/.