Honey Bee Caste Systems: Part 2 – How Genetics and the Environment Shape Honey Bee Workers and Queens


Author: Garett Slater, Former Midwest Tech Transfer Team In part 1 of my blog series, I wrote about how genetics can shape reproductive males (drones) and both reproductive (queens) and non-reproductive (workers) females within a colony. However, genetics only explains part of the story. I will describe why that is in the second installment of…

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Flame in the Bee Yard: Relighting a Smoker the Easy Way


The Scenario We’ve all experienced a smoker going out just when we need it. Sometimes we may simply forget to pump the bellows for too long while we are getting some other things ready; sometimes we may make the mistake of stuffing the fire chamber too tightly with fuel before the fire has a good…

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Lazy bees?


Honey bees have long been admired by humankind for their industriousness. The beehive has served as a symbol of organization and hard work throughout history, and common sayings like “busy as a bee” that persist today indicate we still perceive bees to be hard workers. The state of Utah has been particularly fond of the…

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Colony Loss Survey, Closing Soon!


The end is near; now hear how we got here! April is about to end, and with that the Bee Informed National Colony Loss and Management survey will be hibernating (or summering) for another year. If you haven’t participated yet, we kindly ask you to do so here before the survey closes. This is our…

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Waxing Poetic – A reminder of the BIP survey


Bee Informed Partnership’s Easter Basket By Selina Bruckner, Auburn University Dear beekeepers of America, Easter Sunday is so close; but before celebrating we would propose, For you to read this piece of poetry; which is much more than pure pleasantry. April is almost coming to an end; most of which our bees have spent Foraging…

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Observations of Forager Deaths in Almonds this past February


This February while traveling around the almond orchards in central California, I observed many instances of dead pollen foragers at the entrances of colonies. In addition, many beekeepers reported being approached by their growers, who were concerned by the number of dead bees they were seeing along with the lack of flight activity in the…

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye!


Greetings Beekeeper! The 13th annual Bee Informed Partnership National Colony Loss & Management Survey is LIVE! In fact, it’s been live for 11 days already! If you have submitted your answers – thank you, thank you, thank you. You are one of over 2,000 beekeepers that have done so! If you have not, we are patiently…

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SURVEY FAQs – Tips and Tricks to answering the Bee Informed Partnership’s National Colony Loss and Management Survey

Not even a week has passed since this year’s Colony Loss and Management survey went LIVE! As of this morning (4/5/2019), more than 1,200 beekeepers have already entered their information. WOW! Thank you for your time and continued support! So far your response rate is tracking previous years, but of course, we want to beat…

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Honey Bee Caste Systems: Part 1- Honey Bee Genetics


I have always been fascinated with queens and workers. In fact, I spent my master’s degree studying the mechanisms that produce queens and workers. I want to spend the next three articles in this and upcoming issues discussing the complex processes that govern how an egg becomes either a worker or a queen. You can…

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