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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Healthy Advantages of Working in the “Bee Lab”

I was fortunate enough to spend my semester interning for the VanEngledorp lab. Throughout my internship I got a firsthand look at how a lab functions and was able to participate. Mainly I would clean and prep samples for the various services this lab provides for apiaries. However, occasionally I would help with checking apiary samples for varroa. What I found to be most interesting to learn from this lab, was the benefits of honey for your body. This Is because I love to learn about how to achieve and maintain a healthy well-being, which is why im majoring in kinesiology. For example in a recent medical case…

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An Intern’s Intro to Honey Bees

This past semester, I have been working as an undergraduate intern in Dr. vanEngelsdorp’s honey bee lab at the University of Maryland. My previous bee knowledge consisted of only a few fun facts learned in intro biology courses and some honey extracting methods learned while working with another professor in the entomology department here at UMD. Needless to say, my expertise in honey bees has vastly grown. I could tell you the differences between a queen, drone, and worker bee and why they do a few of the many amazing things they do. More specifically, I have been working on a Nosema spore project. Along…

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Working at the NCSU Bee Lab

Jordan Arata, one of our undergraduates who worked for our lab this summer was 'stationed' at the North Carolina State University lab working with Dr. David Tarpy.  He details his experiences below.  Jordan is also President of the UMD Apiary club. This summer I had the pleasure of working and learning at David Tarpy’s honey bee research facility at North Carolina State University. There, I worked alongside my friend Sam Freeze to help David Tarpy, Mike Simone-Finstrom, Jennifer Keller, and Ming Huang with various projects and experiments. One of these experiments investigated virus transmission in raising new queens. This was done by comparing the prevalence…

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