Yellow Star Thistle Produces Green Honey

  Yellow star thistle (Centaurea solstitialis) was extremely prolific in some areas of California this year.  Many commercial beekeepers commented on it.  One said that he hadn’t seen this much star thistle in over 20 years.  Personally, I saw huge fields of it all over the Sacramento Valley, from Redding down to Davis. Further south, […]

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 […]

Honey Bee Caste Systems: Part 2 – How Genetics and the Environment Shape Honey Bee Workers and Queens

Author: Garett Slater, Former Midwest Tech Transfer Team In part 1 of my blog series, I wrote about how genetics can shape reproductive males (drones) and both reproductive (queens) and non-reproductive (workers) females within a colony. However, genetics only explains part of the story. I will describe why that is in the second installment of […]

Preliminary results: 2017-2018 Total and Average Honey Bee Colony Losses by State and the District of Columbia

By now, we hope that you have taken time to reflect on this past year’s honey bee colony losses – both your own losses, as well as those experienced by beekeepers across the nation. In case you missed it, you can view our official preliminary results abstract here: We fared worse this year compared […]

Honey Bee Viral Prevalence Map

Honey bee viruses have been widely surveyed and sampled for through the USDA APHIS Honey Bee Survey, BIP Tech Team samples, Emergency Response Kits, and other samples processed through joint co-operations through the University of Maryland bee lab. To share the results of these surveys through an openly accessible visualization, we have released a dynamically explorable map […]

Blister Beetle on Honey Bees

As a Technical Transfer Team member, I have a unique perspective of beekeeping. We get to see operations of all different sizes and styles, and we see bees of varying degrees of health, strength, and occasionally odd situations. One day this fall, we noticed a particularly odd occurrence: strange orange larvae on the thorax of […]

Please help Puerto Rico’s honey bees

We are pleased to have Val Dolcini, the President and CEO of Pollinator Partnership as our guest blogger. Help Contribute to the beekeepers and honey bees in Puerto Rico As the US moves into winter with some beekeepers feeding heavily to make sure their bees have enough stores until spring, imagine trying to maintain active colonies […]

Yellow Jessamine- pretty, fragrant, and…toxic to honey bees?

I just went on a trip to East Texas. While I was there, I heard a lot about the Yellow Jessamine plant (Gelsemium sempervirens) and its deadly effect on honey bee larvae. Yellow Jessamine (often referred to as yellow jasmine) is the state flower of South Carolina, and is often used in landscaping and gardens for its […]

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 […]

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