Beekeepers are good storytellers… and maybe liars

In a previous blog, we shared statements from a few BIP Board members conveying how the Bee Informed Partnership has changed the world of beekeeping and how it has personally effected either their research or their operations. Today, George Hansen, a well-known and respected Oregon commercial beekeeper and a BIP Board member tells the story of how he came to beekeeping. If you were not born with a hive tool in your hand and, like many of us, stumbled on the beekeeping path by happy accident, I think you will recognize many aspects of his humorous anecdote.  George, why don't you take it from here?…

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Let’s Hear it from the Board!

The Bee Informed Partnership, like many nonprofits, has a Board vested in our organization's sustainability, success, and the pursuit of our strategic goals. Also, like many other nonprofits, our volunteer Board is composed of stakeholders who actually use our services. We are fortunate to have some of the best commercial beekeepers in the country on our board as well as some hard working, highly respected researchers. They usually work quietly behind the scenes but for our Fundraising event, I have asked a few of them to step out and speak to YOU, our readers and participants to say what they find compelling and unique about…

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Be Included, Be Involved, Bee Informed and Be Generous

In today’s world, we are asked to care passionately about so many things. From polar bears to plastic, we are often overwhelmed at how many good causes are asking for aid. There is precious little remaining bandwidth in our mental and emotional reserves for anything more, so I will make this short.  If you or someone you know is a beekeeper in any part of the world, you know that we are asking more of these magnificent insects under increasingly challenging circumstances. Our wonderfully diverse food supply depends on them and our economy benefits from the fact they are here. However, we are also asking…

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A debt of gratitude

My grandfather was a lucky man. He married a wonderful woman who put up with him and he had two healthy children, a girl (my mom) and a boy (my uncle). He must have been born under an auspicious star because when he decided that it was time to leave Russia at the height of World War II, his charmed life kicked in. They escaped but others from their village were not so lucky. It took them 10 long years, moving across Europe, to finally make it to the US and he did what was necessary to keep his family alive (including raising a contraband…

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Only you…

“Only you….” Depending on your age, that phrase can evoke images of Smokey the Bear and his stoic message of preventing forest fires or, if you are a bit more on the wiser and mature side, you may recall the hit song, Only You, from the Platters. Regardless, the message is ageless and could not be more relevant in today’s world of beekeeping. If you are reading this, you know that every one of your colonies has Varroa mites. Yes, every single colony that you manage has Varroa mites. Take a deep breath. But you know what to do. You know that monitoring has to…

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A time of Thanks and Giving – 2017

IT IS GIVING TUESDAY! The Bee Informed Partnership’s – our friends call us BIP – mission is to help beekeepers keep colonies alive using real world data.  We have come a long way in the last 5 years, and we couldn’t have done it without beekeeper participation.  But running BIP costs money, and while we have been successful in grants and beekeeping pay for services – we also rely on beekeepers not only to supply data – but also to help keep us funded through donations. For those of you who have supported us in the past – either by supplying data or financially -…

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Please help Puerto Rico’s honey bees

We are pleased to have Val Dolcini, the President and CEO of Pollinator Partnership as our guest blogger. Help Contribute to the beekeepers and honey bees in Puerto Rico As the US moves into winter with some beekeepers feeding heavily to make sure their bees have enough stores until spring, imagine trying to maintain active colonies with no forage – no nectar and no pollen in sight for months with no resources to bring in supplementary food for their colonies. Imagine viewing your apiary with boxes torn apart and bees swarming in open homes. This is what is happening to the beekeepers and honey bee colonies…

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Varroa Destructor Virus-1: It’s here…

This blog has been updated from the original blog posted on October 10, 2017. As of this date, December 12, 2017, the final paper describing the work below has been published and can by found in it's entirety at this link at Nature.com **************************** One of the best things about working in research is that it never fails to surprise – for good or for bad. And occasionally, it is not until much later that the surprise comes. In this case, the “surprise” arrived in the form of another Varroa-vectored, RNA virus, Varroa Destructor Virus-1, or VDV1. Our University of Maryland lab has been leading…

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Bee Informed Partnership Technical Transfer Teams…and family

In 2011 when the first Bee Informed Partnership technical transfer team was formed in northern California (really, even before that, but we won’t confuse the story), no one could have ever guessed where it would take us. We had long range plans but most were vague and foggy. There was so much to do right now. So many things to learn. So many details to iron out. So many miles to put on trucks and so many samples to collect and process. But here we are…6 years later. Older. Wiser. And now those long range plans are much clearer and the pesky details are getting…

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Technical Transfer Team Job Posting – We are growing!

The Bee Informed Partnership (www.beeinformed.org) is seeking additional Technical Transfer Team  members to work with commercial beekeepers in the following states: Minnesota (serving beekeepers in MN and ND), Florida (serving beekeepers in FL and GA), Texas (serving beekeepers in TX and ND), and possibly two new teams in the northern Midwest and Northeast. Teams will serve beekeepers in the home states as well as when they move their colonies into almonds in California.  The salary range is $40,000-42,000 (based on experience) per year and will include full medical and retirement benefits. For Minnesota, the team will be based out of the University of Minnesota. For Florida,…

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