Colony Loss 2014 – 2015: Preliminary Results

Nathalie Steinhauer1, Karen Rennich1, Kathleen Lee2, Jeffery Pettis3, David R. Tarpy4, Juliana Rangel5, Dewey Caron6, Ramesh Sagili6, John A. Skinner7, Michael E. Wilson7, James T. Wilkes8, Keith S. Delaplane9, Robyn Rose10, Dennis vanEngelsdorp1 1 Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 2 Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108 3 United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 4 Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC 27695 5 Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843 6 Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331 7 Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology,…

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National Colony Loss and Management Survey Preview

It's that time of the year again.  Flowers are coming into bloom and our bees are beginning to get a bit of cabin fever as they start to venture for new forage.  As April approaches and Spring gets its start the 2014 - 2015 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…

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The Colony Loss Map is Up and Running

The marriage between data collection and GIS just got a little sweeter for the bees and their keepers around the country. Years of Winter Loss data are now accessible through a masterfully created, interactive web map. It has been a long time coming. We are so excited to continue to provide beekeepers with the information they need to keep healthier bees. Click the map to check it out! This is only the beginning so stay tuned as we create and build upon data accessibility for everyone. Next year’s data will be added once the survey is complete. Sign up to take the surveys and you can add…

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Varroa Mite Field Sample Processing Video

In our lab, we benefit from a diverse repertoire of individuals coming from varied backgrounds.  Working at a university includes the benefit of having motivated students with unique skills ready to use their talents.  Byron Mariani, a Sophomore Kinesiology Major, is one of these students who began working at the Bee Informed Partnership Lab at the beginning of the fall 2013 semester.  In addition to the help he provides in diagnosing colonies for Varroa, he has also proven himself invaluable with his video editing abilities.  With the help from our undergraduates, Anthony Nearman who provides a voice-over, and Kirsten Traynor who wrote the script, we…

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Introducing the vanEngelsdorp Honey Bee Lab Website

  The Bee Informed Partnership would like to announce the launch of our new website for the vanEngelsdorp Honey Bee Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park.  The focus of this website will be about projects specific to the lab and the University of Maryland.  Our Sentinel Hive program is one of these projects.  Sentinel Hives are designed to be an early warning system of honey bee health utilizing automatic and beekeeper monitoring via hive scales.  With this program, colony weight gains and losses, pollen variety and abundance, and varroa mite and nosema loads will be monitored.  The purpose of the sentinel hive is…

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2013 – 2014 National Management Survey

The Bee Informed Partnership is proud to release the results of the  fourth annual National Management Survey for years 2013 - 2014.  The results from this survey represent 564,522 colonies, 21.7%  of the country’s 2.6 million colonies*. The National Management Survey, conducted since 2010, takes an epidemiological approach to acquire a greater understanding of the effects of various colony management practices and their relationship with colony health.  We compare the data of apiaries that suffered high colony losses with those that suffered low colony losses and search for patterns in management practices that lead to lower mortality rates.Over the years we have been able to work…

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Colony Loss 2013-2014

Preliminary Results: Honey Bee Colony Losses in the United States, 2013-2014 May 6, 2014 Dennis vanEngelsdorp1*, Nathalie Steinhauer1, Karen Rennich1, Michael Wilson2, Kathy Baylis3, Dewey M. Caron4, Keith S. Delaplane5, Jamie Ellis6, Kathleen Lee7, Eugene J. Lengerich8, Jeff Pettis9, Robyn Rose10, Ramesh Sagili4, John Skinner2, Angela M. Spleen8, David R. Tarpy11, Dominic Travis7, James T. Wilkes12 for the Bee Informed Partnership. Note: This is a preliminary analysis. A more detailed final report is being prepared for publication at a later date. The Bee Informed Partnership (http://beeinformed.org), in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is releasing…

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Colony Loss Survey 2012 – 2013

A national survey of managed honey bee 2012-2013 annual colony losses in the USA: results from the Bee Informed Partnership Abstract: For the past six years in which overwintering mortality of honey bee colonies has been surveyed in the USA, estimates of colony loss have fluctuated around one-third of the national population. Here we report on the losses for the 2012-2013 seasons. We collected data from 6,482 US beekeepers (6,114 backyard, 233 sideline, and 135 commercial beekeepers) to document overwintering mortality rates of honey bee colonies for the USA. Responding beekeepers reported a total 30.6% (95% CI: 30.16-31.13%) loss of US colonies over the winter,…

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A “House Moment” in a Bee Lab Continued: Making the Connection

Remember our recent report concerning pesticides? I used a chemical reference database to go through the list and see if I could find any that were lipid-soluble. While many pesticides I looked at were not lipid-soluble, the four chemicals implicated in increasing honeybee vulnerability of Nosema infection in the study above are lipid-soluble. The clearest example is with the fungicide chlorothalonil due to the molecule’s relatively simple chemical structure. The aromatic ring makes the chemical lipid-soluble and the four chlorines make the molecule stable in the environment. Not to offend any honeybees reading our blog, but honeybees have fat! Ya’ll wear it well though ;)…

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A “House Moment” in a Bee Lab: Background

The Bee Informed Partnership laboratory at University of Maryland, College Park participated in research to test for the presence of a wide range of pesticides in pollen samples of commercial honeybees. We wanted to know what bees were eating, how many pesticides were present in bee food and at what concentrations, and how pesticide use might correlate to Nosema infection. Nosema is a microsporidian gut-pathogen of honeybees that causes Nosemosis, a bee disease that weakens immune systems and harms colony health. Beekeepers and many in the agricultural community are paying close attention to Nosema due to the recent discovery of a new fungal pathogen, Nosema…

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