Tart Cherry Pollination

The summer of 2017 is an exciting time for the Bee Informed Partnership as industry support and beekeeper interest has facilitated the expansion of a new BIP Tech Transfer Team based in Michigan. This expansion into a new territory means learning about the specifics of the local landscape, agricultural systems and beekeeping calendar in order to better serve the local beekeeping operations. Most Michigan-based beekeeping operations spend the winter in Florida or other warmer states and return to Michigan in the spring for fruit pollination and honey production through the summer and autumn. Tart cherries are one of the most prevalent pollination crops   in Michigan…

Continue Reading →

Alders Valued as Early NorCal Pollen Source

As January comes to a close and much of the country is still buried in snow, signs of spring are beginning to show here in Northern California. After receiving above-average rainfall this winter, the land feels as if it's ready to burst with life after years of severe drought. Farmers and beekeepers already have high expectations for the year as reservoirs  fill and the land soaks up rainfall.  Forage for bees in most of California has been been very scarce in recent years and beekeepers have relied on near year-round protein feeding. This is especially crucial in preparation for taking the bees into the almond…

Continue Reading →

Interpreting and Understanding the Differences in Honey Bee Colony Loss Numbers From Different National Surveys.

Over the last year, and for the first time, the National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) conducted a survey to monitor colony losses. The Bee Informed Partnership (BIP), in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, has also recently published preliminary loss data covering the same time period. While the core purpose of these two surveys are the same, to track honey bee colony losses in the US, there are significant and important differences in survey design (questions asked), delivery, data presentation, and the methodology by which loss rates are calculated.  These differences mean that dissimilarities in loss rates reported by both surveys are expected. This…

Continue Reading →

The NEW Bee and Pollinator Research Lab Breaks Ground at the University of Minnesota!

  On August 2 and 3, 2015, we had an amazing series of groundbreaking festivities to celebrate the construction of the new Bee and Pollinator Research Lab, that will be built on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota beginning this fall. Beekeepers and friends from across the nation came to celebrate with us, and U.S. Representative Betty McCollum, Minnesota Representative Alice Hausman, President Eric and Karen Kaler, Jack and Betty Thomas from Mann Lake, Ltd, and Lori K. Watso, Secretary/Treasurer of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community were but a few of our fun guests. This 10,500 square foot facility will be built…

Continue Reading →

Clover Seed Pollination

Clover seed is an important crop grown in western Oregon that benefits rom hired honeybee colonies to boost yields. The Willamette Valley has an ideal climate for seed production with high annual rainfalls that allow growing without irrigation but infrequent rains in July and August allow seed to be harvested with limited risk of moisture damage. There are three main types of clover grown for seed in Oregon with all belonging to the Trifolium genus of the Fabaceae family. They are red clover (T. pratense), crimson clover (T. incarnatum) and white or Dutch clover (T. repens). In addition to clovers the Fabaceae family includes other…

Continue Reading →

Meadowfoam Pollination

May in the Willamette Valley is a time of lush green fields of grazing pasture and grass seed crops covering the flatlands along the I-5 corridor from Eugene to Portland. These verdant fields are punctuated by small plantings of dense, low growing, brilliantly white flowers, appropriately called Meadowfoam. Meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba) is an annual oilseed crop with a native range from Vancouver Island, BC to northern California. The oil derived from Meadowfoam seeds contains long-chain fatty acids that are very stable relative to other vegetable oils. This resistance to degradation make it a valuable ingredient to prolong shelf life of products and it is of…

Continue Reading →

Oregon State Sentinel Apiary

Spring has come early to western Oregon and it means that monitoring and sampling of colonies in the newly established sentinel apiary is already underway. The sentinel apiary is located at the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture (OCCUH) on the western edge of the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.  The location provides a diversity of forage including natural, agricultural and low density urban areas.                     The OCCUH apiary is maintained for research and teaching purposes as part of the OSU Honeybee Lab and Oregon Master Beekeeper program. The apiary consists of colonies in a…

Continue Reading →

“Winter” Beekeeping in Florida

It’s cold outside. All 50 states experienced freezing temperatures at the same time this past week for the first time since 1976. While these surprisingly low fall temperatures maybe old hat for the rest of the country, it’s a little on the cool side for those of us in Florida. At 20°F, Jacksonville, FL experienced the coldest temperatures on record for the month of November. It usually doesn’t get cold (at least Florida’s version of it) until January. So what does this mean for FL beekeepers? The last of the Spanish needle, primrose willow, and marsh marigold will be gone shortly, and queens will start…

Continue Reading →

BIP goes to Seaside

The Bee Informed Partnership was well represented at the Oregon State Beekeepers Association annual meeting held Nov. 6-8 in Seaside, Oregon. OSBA Vice President and BIP advisory committee member Dr. Dewey Caron directed events over the weekend and delivered a talk titled “How to Locally Rear Selected-Stock Queens”. The conference was attended by 250 people with diverse bee backgrounds including commercial operators, hobbyists, queen breeders, academics and vendors. There was a good turnout from our BIP-PNW partner beekeepers with several giving presentations. BIP Co-Directors Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp and Dr. Marla Spivak were both in attendance with each giving multiple talks over the weekend. Ellen and I gave…

Continue Reading →

Fall: Cycle of Northern California Bee Breeder

This is the final installment of a 3 piece blog that summarized a year in the life of a Northern California Bee Breeder. We are quickly approaching the end of October and beekeepers in the area are closer and closer to giving their bees a much needed rest. October and November are the culmination of a year’s work. It’s make or break time for most and what you have is what you got and hopefully what you will end up with at the start of the new year. There is no time for re-queening, no hope for a miraculous turn around, and nothing more to…

Continue Reading →

Be Involved. Be Included.Bee Informed.

Donate Now ! →