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Sentinel Apiary Program Monthly Memo: September Issue

Hello Beekeepers, we’re back with the September Sentinel Apiary update one day late but hopefully not a dollar short! It’s been a very busy month full of monitoring and treating for mites, plus a trip to Montreal for the Apimondia world beekeeping conference. It was such a blast to see so many Sentinel beekeepers and BIP supporters north of the border and to present the program at the citizen science session. Of course, while the beekeeper is away, the bees (and mites) will play. Here’s what happened with Sentinel Apiaries in August (September update to come shortly).   Last month, 61 beekeepers submitted 330 samples…

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Are you annotating your hive scale data?

The Bee Informed Partnership’s Electronic Hive Monitoring program gathers data from hundreds of electronic hive monitors located all over the USA.   Much of this data is publicly available to the beekeeping community in a variety of actionable formats.  For example, if you go over to the BIP research portal at research.beeinformed.org and click on Hive Monitors you can see a public gain/loss map that shows the 7 day moving average weight loss/gain of the hive monitors within that state. We are also doing algorithmic work on the data and attempting to discover more actionable information about colony health from this vast collection of electronically…

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The NEW Honey Bee Discovery Center in Orland

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the Honey Bee Discovery Center Kick-off and Exhibit Preview in Orland, California. This event was followed by the Queen Bee Festival the day after. The Honey Bee Discovery Center is ‘the first interactive exhibit and museum of its kind’. It highlights the history of beekeeping from hobbyists, sideliners and commercial operators’ perspectives, and features the evolution and breakthroughs in equipment, pollination and art inspired by bees. Inside the center, one can find multiple showcases of vintage bee equipment related to all apicultural activities, complete with an observation hive near the center of the room. All around the new…

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New BIP Team Perspective

Forward: For my first blog post I was asked to write about my perspective of joining BIP as a tech transfer team member.  I have been in the field so much that I am just now getting around to it. I hope this blog accurately captures both the factual and emotional aspects of becoming a BIP tech team member.  So here it goes... It’s About The Bees! As one of the rookies on the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) tech transfer team, I feel incredibly lucky to have joined BIP at such an interesting time for the organization, and for the beekeeping industry itself.  On the first…

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Sentinel Apiary Monthly Memo: August Issue

We’re back again with another monthly update from the Sentinel Apiary Program! Let’s take a look at what’s been going on with mites, drones, honey, and more over the past month. Throughout the month of July, Sentinel participants submitted 378 samples from 71 apiaries across 27 states! July finally showed us a big increase in mite loads, with the average Sentinel apiary now at the treatment threshold of 3 mites/100 bees. This July Sentinel apiary mite loads are higher than the historic national average, and much higher than the mite loads from last year’s Sentinel apiaries. This could mean we’re having especially high Varroa pressure…

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Sentinel Apiary Monthly Memo: July Issue

We’re here to help you beat the heat with your second monthly Sentinel Monthly Memo of the year. It has been hotter than Hades out there, so hopefully you and your bees are keeping cool. We’re another month into the 2019 Sentinel Apiary Program, and here’s what we’re seeing. In the month of June, we received a record 417 samples from 70 Sentinel Apiaries in 28 states. To put that into perspective, that’s over 125,000 bees, enough to comprise 2-3 full colonies. Our undergraduate lab technicians are certainly being put to good use! Congratulations to the state with the lowest June mite load: New Hampshire…

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Donate to BIP when you shop at Amazon!

Today and tomorrow are Amazon Prime shopping days and if you have been waiting to purchase those early (or late) Christmas presents or treat yourself to some much needed items, it is easy to make supporting the Bee Informed Partnership part of all your Amazon shopping. Through Amazon Smile, you can build in a small donation to BIP every time you shop at no additional cost to yourself. With each purchase on Amazon Smile, 0.5% of the sale to a will go to an organization of your choice, and we hope that The Bee Informed Partnership is your non-profit of choice! To add BIP as…

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Empty Calories

Somewhere early on in a “Beekeeping 101” class you’ll learn that honey bees forage for 4 things: nectar, pollen, propolis, and water. The nectar and pollen become honey and bee bread to provide sustenance. Propolis is used as a structural component and also contributes to colony health through immunological activity. Previous blog posts about propolis here and here provide more information. Water is necessary for a variety of purposes including preparation of brood food and evaporative cooling. So in addition to water, bees need 3 substances produced by plants. But do they collect anything else? Of course they do. If you’ve ever seen open syrup…

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Sentinel Apiary Monthly Memo: June Issue

  I don’t know about you, but my back hurts, which must mean the peak beekeeping season is officially well underway. The honey is flowing and supers are filling up. Do you know what your mite loads are? If not, Sentinel Apiaries are here to help. Sentinel Apiary participants sample 4 or 8 colonies for Varroa every month during the peak beekeeping season. This year marks the largest year of the Sentinel Apiary Program to date with 102 registered Sentinel Apiaries! If there’s a Sentinel Apiary near you, check their mite loads at bip2.beeinformed.org/sentinel. This can help show you what mites are doing in your…

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Latest Loss Survey Results 2018-2019

Dear BIP Survey participants, You might have been wondering when the preliminary results of the 2018-2019 Bee Informed Partnership Colony Loss and Management Survey will be posted. Well, today is the day. Thanks for your patience! The “traditional” abstract is now posted on the BIP webpage here, while the Press Release issued by the University of Maryland can be read here. We want to thank all of you – whether you are a long-term respondent or a new-Bee to the survey – for participating this year. The information you provided is critical to building a long-term data set that we can now use to develop…

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