The Bee Informed Partnership is a collaboration of efforts across the country from some of the leading research labs and universities in agriculture and science to better understand honey bee declines in the United States. Supported by the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, we’re working with beekeepers to better understand how we can keep healthier bees.
The key to our success is the true partnership we maintain across a wide range of disciplines including traditional honey bee science, economics, statistics, and medical research that makes all these tools available to this important research. And just as important as the tools are the people. We not only have the leading researchers in the honey bee industry, we also have advisory boards from the commercial beekeeping industries, almond and other commercial growers, as well as naturalists and conservationists from across the country.
How We Work
The Bee Informed Partnership’s core idea is that we can learn more by studying honey bee health on a large scale than we can in individual lab experiments. Borrowing traditional methods of cancer research from human medicine, we gather huge amounts of data submitted by beekeepers to understand just two things: How many hives they lost last season and how they kept their bees during that season.
We look at thousands of records from beekeepers, how they managed their hives, and what the end results were. From that data, we use statistics to find trends towards better beekeeping practices that result in healthier honey bees.
What’s Coming Next
Like most studies, time is a crucial element to the process, and most of our current publications have been preliminary observations. While the average medical study lasts 10 years before publication, we’ve made significant strides to accelerate our processes and bring important findings to the public in just our first two years.
That being said, this is just the beginning. As we gather more data from beekeepers across the country, we’ll be able to dig deeper and find the best management practices that last through the seasons and truly make a difference in the health of honey bee colonies. In the meantime, read more here about how we gather our data from beekeepers and how you can help.