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 […]

Cycle of a Northern CA Bee Breeder

Most commercial beekeepers will tell you that beekeeping has changed dramatically in the last 30 years coinciding with the arrival of Varroa mites in the late 80’s. It seems as though things have been in a constant state of change since then as beekeepers and scientists scramble to understand the complexities of Varroa, viruses, Nosema […]

Bee Beard

Last Saturday Rob and I volunteered to participate in the Patrick Ranch’s annual Country Faire and Threshing Bee. For more information about the event visit: We got a call from Yvonne Koehnen earlier last week asking if we would be interested in doing a bee beard for the honey bee exhibit at the fair. […]

Hive History

The summer sampling period began 10 days ago with the sixteen beekeepers participating in the Bee Informed Partnership. This sampling period places an emphasis on determining Varroa mite and Nosema levels prior to beekeepers treating with medicines this year. Most beekeepers will try to have their mite treatments in 30 days prior to the nectar […]

Midwest Bee Team

This past weekend, I made a solo trip halfway across the country back to my homeland of Minnesota where I will now be based. One of the goals of the Bee Team program is to expand and establish multiple Teams around the country. There have been requests to establish Teams in the Northeast and Southeast, […]

Coordinated BIP effort aims to cut in half annual bee colony losses.

BEE Informed Partnership: Coordinated BIP effort aims to cut in half annual bee colony losses. by Richard Lehnert Good Fruit Grower magazine article, March 15th, 2012. “After five years of annual colony losses near or above 30 percent, beekeepers have settled in for the long haul in their struggle to find solutions to the problem […]

Queen Bee Identification

Over the past few months we have been sampling and assessing colonies throughout queen breeders operations. We looked at colony size, weight, brood pattern, bee color and queen status. I had a chance to photograph some different Italian queens (Apis mellifera ligustica) and Carniolan queens (Apis mellifera carnica). Both species are usually gentle and can […]

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