Summer: Cycle of Northern California Bee Breeder

The graphic above illustrates the basic cycle of beekeeping during the summer season in northern California. Things like applying treatments and feeding are management decisions based on what the bees are doing in response to the environment around them. Feeding and treating is operation specific and location dependent. Think of treatment windows in terms of […]

Examining Bacteria From Colonies with Foulbrood Symptoms

Microscopy is a useful tool to diagnose honey bee problems. While working on some content for, I helped record the following video. These bacterial spores where found in a comb showing symptoms of American foulbrood disease. Paenibacillus larvae With Brownian Motion From a Honey Bee Colony Video description: Spores of the causative agent of […]

Phorid Fly (Light Trapping)

The past few months I have been trying to capture honey bees that are infected with Phorid Flies in the Chico, CA area. So what is a Phorid Fly? It is a fly commonly referred to as the humpback-fly because of its appearance. Previously the fly was known to parasitize bumble bees and paper wasps […]

Antlions (Myrmeleontidae)

Previously I wrote a blog about an insect known as a “Wormlion.” I suspected this insect to be an Antlion at first. I then figured that not many people knew what an Antlion was so I figured I would blog about them. Antlions are in the order Neuroptera which in English translates into “nerve-wings.” An […]

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 […]

State of Beekeeping in Northern CA:

I have been living in Northern CA for just over a year now and from what I’ve been told the weather in the past year has been atypical. Last spring and early summer was late and unusually wet which led to one of the best star thistle crops in years. Because of the rain the […]

Tropilaelaps Mites

Among the many diseases and pests that the APHIS National Honey Bee Survey samples are analyzed for is the exotic parasite, the Tropilaelaps mite. These mites are native to tropical Asia and are a serious threat to the honey bee. While they naturally use the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) as their host, Tropilaelaps mites […]

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