Bee Understanding

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to take part in the filming of a documentary by the Bee Understanding Project and it turned out to be a very fun and informative experience! The point of the film was to show the relationship between the almond and beekeeping industries through a job swap, where each participant, almond grower and beekeepers, could better see the other’s perspective. Unlike many other recent honey bee documentaries, this film does not portray commercial beekeepers or almond growers as the bad guys, but rather is fair in describing the challenges each of them faces as our agricultural systems become more…

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BIP National Loss Survey Comparison with NASS results

The National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) recently reported the results of its second honey bee colony loss survey. The Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) also recently published preliminary loss results covering the same period. Despite the differences in methodology and sample sizes, these two surveys yielded comparable results. Specifically, we estimate 33.23% losses based on the BIP survey, and we estimate 35.39% losses when we use BIP methods to calculate losses from the NASS survey (Table 1). This is reassuring as it suggests past BIP surveys are representative of national losses despite the non-random nature of the BIP respondent pool. Both of these surveys were created…

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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…

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Bee Informed Partnership Diagnosis and treatment of Common Honey Bee Diseases Wins Bronze!

At Apimondia this year our training manual for ‘Common honey bee diseases’ was submitted in the book category.  This simple training manual was entered among many other highly competitive books and won a bronze award to our surprise!  I originally wanted to create a honey bee disease/diagnosis manual because  most of the literature had very small, poor quality photos which made disease identification difficult.  So for the past 7 years I had been collecting images of the various bee diseases and pests I came across during colony inspections in Pennsylvania as well as in migratory operations around the country.  In 2011, I moved to Northern…

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Bee Informed Partnership Wins Silver for Website Category at Apimondia

At the 2015 Apimondia International Apiculture Congress in Daejon, Korea, the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) took home the silver prize in the category for the Best Website on a Beekeeping Topic.  This meeting of researchers and beekeepers from diverse backgrounds and from around the globe was the 44th meeting of Apimondia under the theme “Bees, Connecting the World!”  Apimondia is an organization that promotes scientific, social, ecological and economic apicultural development throughout the world through the cooperation of beekeeping associations, scientific organizations and individuals throughout the world. Scientists, representing many countries from around the world, came to present their research projects, prominently displaying the diverse…

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Urban Beekeeping in Washington

  Hunt. (2012). The Rise of Urban Beekeeping in Washington. The Washingtonian. November 2012. "Colony Collapse Disorder is a real concern—but some backyard beekeepers are trying to combat it."   Hunt. (2012). The Rise of Urban Beekeeping in Washington. The Washingtonian. November 2012.

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2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an annual festival held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. that celebrates cultural diversity and traditions. The USDA Bee Research Lab was asked to participate this year as part of the theme “Campus and Community”. The festival commemorated the 150th anniversary of USDA and land-grant universities. Abraham Lincoln signed the Morill Act in 1862 which, in part, initiated research partnerships between USDA and public universities (not unlike the Bee Informed Partnership!) A group of us from BIP were lucky enough to be able to participate in the festival on June 29th: myself, Karen Rennich, Heather Eversole and Jennie Stitzinger.…

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