On this blog, I will share the work I am doing with bee breeders in Northern California. However, I would to give a more complete story through a three-part blog of how I got here, what I am doing now, and where I hope this project will go. Origins Bee breeding if the most interesting part of beekeeping. There is so much to learn with all the complexities of how to choose breeder queens, how to maintain lines, and different ways to use the bee’s biology to raise new queen bees.  I was one of Dr. Marla Spivak’s students at the University of Minnesota, and…

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Weather in Northern California

Beekeepers are farmers. And like other types of farmers, beekeepers depend. on the weather. And this was a particularly stressful year for weather. Queen season started out with temperatures much lower than normal and rainy in February and March. The problem with the poor weather is the queens that normally would go out and mate did not have a single day nice enough to fly, resulting in beekeepers not being able to cage mated queens to sell. The queens had to wait two weeks until they could mate, putting the bee breeders two weeks behind their normal schedule. They had to push queen orders back,…

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Traveling across the nation conducting field work has led me to many incredible places, introduced me to some remarkable people, and helped build several unbelievable experiences. The people, the places, and the things I’ve done here at Penn State have helped to create an insatiable taste for life and a broader perspective of the world and how I fit into it! Yes, a lot of the time on the road is spent doing field work, traveling from apiary to apiary, or orchard to orchard, working long hours, many miles from home, but we are handed gifts along the way. These gifts come in many forms…

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Packing for Sampling Trips

As Rob prepares to take one last trip to California (early May) to complete the field work for the National Honey Bee Survey I was reminded of this Gigapan. I chose to post this panorama because it illustrates the kind of thought and time that goes into our sampling trips. Keep in mind that this is only a picture of the electronic equipment we bring with us when we travel. There is much more that needs to be prepared and packaged before we can leave to complete field work. To view snapshots that describe what each of these items are and why I have packed…

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