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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Three Advantages of Rain Covers


Having worked on both the Northern California Tech Transfer Team and Pacific Norwest Team has given me a unique opportunity to compare and contrast management styles across regions. One thing that I immediately noticed when I first came to the Oregon team was the use of rain covers or shelters over the fall and winter…

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Almond Math


There are plenty of quick stats you come across working around bees: At peak population, a strong colony can have over 60,000 individual bees. A queen is capable of laying more eggs in a day (up to 2,000) than there are minutes in a day (1,440). A single bee can produce 1/12 tsp honey in…

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Fried Drone Brood – A healthy and savory snack?


I live close to the town of Snook, TX – where the local roadhouse is renowned for its chicken fried bacon. This dish inspired a thought; why not fry something shocking myself? I was using drone brood removal as a method of mite control in a couple colonies, and they were producing a lot of…

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Spring Hygienic Testing and California Hygienic Score Trends


This spring we will start Hygienic testing Queen breeders’ colonies. This is my favorite type of testing for beekeepers because we get to look at the best performing colonies in the entire operation. The beekeeper we  work with often selects the best hives throughout the year for performance and marks them, then in the spring…

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Not much, but not nothing


What are your bees doing right now? If you’re in a northern location like me in Michigan the answer for most of the period between November and February may be not much. . .  but they aren’t doing nothing. They are dormant but they aren’t hibernating. During the period of winter dormancy the bees will…

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2018 Sentinel Apiary Program Results


The fourth year of the Sentinel Apiary Program was another great success! The program included 64 beekeepers sampling 418 colonies, for a total of 1,901 samples! You can view the whole 2018 Summary Report here.     We are very excited to share that 2018 Sentinel Participants had significantly lower Varroa loads than the historical…

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Eyes in the Sky: Mapping Bee Health


Among the most exciting aspects of BIP’s work is the wealth of data collected for years on honey bee health. This impressive, growing database is keeping a pulse on the health of American bees. With an abundance of information, and growing team to analyze it, we’ve begun to explore new methods to monitor and detect…

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