Honey Mustard or Mustard Honey?

Honey bees need an abundance and diversity of floral resources to grow and thrive throughout the season. In areas of intensive agriculture, like the almond orchards of California, forage can be scarce before and after the primary cultivated crop blooms. One of the pollinator friendly plants that is often seen in and around orchards and […]

BIP Helps Breed Hygienic Honey Bees

Like other livestock breeders, queen producers are constantly working to improve the quality of stock they produce. When determining which colonies to graft from breeders will evaluate colonies on a variety of traits including productivity, fecundity, and temperament. Traditionally, selection has focused on breeding from colonies that produced large honey crops, reared abundant brood, and […]

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: https://beeinformed.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/2017-2018-Abstract.pdf 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 […]

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