UMD Bees All Prepped for Joaquin!

The weather forecast doesn’t look too good for this weekend with hurricane Joaquin heading to the East Coast. In expectation of high winds and rain, we have prepped our colonies at University of Maryland as best we can. The action items here are: remove unused equipment, condense weight close to the ground, strap the boxes together (and even to the hive stand, if you can), weight the top cover and beware of floods.                   We reduced most of our colonies to 2 deeps high as we started feeding our colonies a couple of weeks ago. This is…

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 →

Varroa Mite Field Sample Processing Video

In our lab, we benefit from a diverse repertoire of individuals coming from varied backgrounds.  Working at a university includes the benefit of having motivated students with unique skills ready to use their talents.  Byron Mariani, a Sophomore Kinesiology Major, is one of these students who began working at the Bee Informed Partnership Lab at the beginning of the fall 2013 semester.  In addition to the help he provides in diagnosing colonies for Varroa, he has also proven himself invaluable with his video editing abilities.  With the help from our undergraduates, Anthony Nearman who provides a voice-over, and Kirsten Traynor who wrote the script, we…

Continue Reading →

November Bee Lab Varroa and Nosema Results

Although the official start of winter does not begin for a few weeks, bitter cold air has spread across much of the northern region. The Minnesota and Oregon Tech Teams finished up their sampling at the end of October, so the honey bee samples received this month were all from the California team (where they are experiencing 60-70°F weather). We examined 220 California samples for Varroa and 236 for Nosema. The average value for Varroa was 0.71 mites per 100 bees, and the average value for Nosema was 0.30 millions of spores per bee. Remarkably, these averages are almost exactly the same as the averages…

Continue Reading →

Real Time Disease Load Monitoring Pollen Diversity

It’s the end of another honey bee season - and as the little gals are hunkering down, bracing for the cold winds of winter, our lab technicians are getting to work compiling data and publishing reports. Also coming with the end of the season is the close of our second official year of a project called Tier 4, or Real Time Disease Load Monitoring. This project provides colony health information to commercial, sideline and small-scale beekeepers. This year, fifteen of our Tier 4 participants collaborated with us on the Pollen Trap Collection Pilot study. The purpose of the pollen trap project is to give beekeepers…

Continue Reading →

Introducing the vanEngelsdorp Honey Bee Lab Website

  The Bee Informed Partnership would like to announce the launch of our new website for the vanEngelsdorp Honey Bee Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park.  The focus of this website will be about projects specific to the lab and the University of Maryland.  Our Sentinel Hive program is one of these projects.  Sentinel Hives are designed to be an early warning system of honey bee health utilizing automatic and beekeeper monitoring via hive scales.  With this program, colony weight gains and losses, pollen variety and abundance, and varroa mite and nosema loads will be monitored.  The purpose of the sentinel hive is…

Continue Reading →

Honey Bee Viral Analysis

The APHIS National Honey Bee Survey (NHBS) is a comprehensive physical examination of apiaries throughout the United Stated.  The NHBS began in 2009 in order to address rising concerns over the health and sustainability of honey bee populations.  The NHBS was funded by USDA-APHIS and is a collaboration between the University of Maryland and the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory.  The purpose of the NHBS is to be a comprehensive analysis of honey bee pests and an examination of the health of apiaries to further provide context for future and present epidemiological studies.  One aspect of the NHBS is that each sample is tested for the…

Continue Reading →

Developing experimental procedure for lipid extraction from honey bees

Working in the vanEngelsdorp lab this past semester, I had the opportunity to help develop a procedure for extracting lipids from honey bees (the significance of which you can read about here). The lab courses I’ve taken so far have all required me to follow procedures like a recipe, which is good way to develop your lab technique, but leaves no room for creativity. Along with my lipid extraction compatriots Sue Boo and Todd Waters, I found out that developing a procedure is all about creativity. Although we were fortunate to gain insight from many of the lab’s research assistants, we were also given the…

Continue Reading →

Bee Educated! A Semester with Pollinaterps

I've been around the research block a few times.  In high school, I was involved in a student lead permafrost research initiative where I got the chance to travel to Churchill, Manitoba and get my hands dirty with my first taste of fieldwork.  I started in on-campus research way back in my very first semester of freshman year, studying vampire bat behavior.  I spent a summer in an entomology lab at the Smithsonian, identifying parasitic wasps, and pan trapping at sites all over Maryland.  And now, as a seasoned sophomore, I got the chance to expand my research horizons to the vanEnglesdorp lab. I had…

Continue Reading →

Honey Bee Saltwater Sampling: Efficiency Improvement

Since a young age, I have had an attraction to engineering and mathematics, narrowing down my ideas for the future with numerous years of study. Not until my later teenage years did I realize that I didn’t explore much outside the realm of engineering and math. I decided that if I took advantage of the large array of research done at University of Maryland, I might find something else I am interested in, or perhaps at least narrow down what I would like to do in the future. The Bee Informed Lab was the perfect opportunity. I was asked to review the efficiency of the…

Continue Reading →

Be Involved. Be Included.Bee Informed.

Donate Now ! →