Nitrile Gloves and You

When asked  "Besides a hive tool, a smoker and a veil, what is your favorite tool in the beekeeper's toolbox?", fellow BIP field specialist Dan Aurell replied with NITRILE GLOVES!  There are a lot of situations where a beekeeper (especially a BIP field specialist) might want to pull on some nitrile gloves. The most obvious benefit gained using nitrile gloves is that they can help prevent honey bee stings (or just make them less severe).  This fact assumes that you are already going gloveless and not using thick leather gloves.  They do not prevent stings outright but they can help prevent the stinger becoming embedded…

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BIP’s Venture into Encaustic Art

During the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) Conference in Schaumburg, Illinois in early January 2020, several BIP staff members participated in BIP Board Member George Hansen’s Encaustic Painting Workshop.  A skill new to many of us in the workshop, this incredibly enchanting art form transforms melted beeswax and pigments into beautifully imaginative paintings.  Or at least for some of our creations, beautifully imaginative in the eye of the beholder. George has introduced the ABF community to encaustic painting before through presentations in previous years but this time around was the first offering of an interactive workshop where participants created their own works of art right there…

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What Robbing Looks Like

Most new beekeepers find out about robbing the hard way when they either spend a little too long poking around in colonies at the wrong time of year, arrive in a bee yard already to find a frenzy of activity around hive entrances, or encounter the aftermath in the form of dead colonies and empty hives. Robbing can be particularly bad in the late summer and fall when several conditions align, leading to high potential for robbing. These triggering conditions include nectar dearth after a main flow, large colony populations with a high proportion of foragers, temperatures suitable for intense flight activity, and potential for…

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Happy New Year from BIP’s New Executive Director

Happy New Year!  I’m jumping for joy that I will begin 2020 as Executive Director of the Bee Informed Partnership.  A couple of weeks in December alongside BIP’s former beloved ED, Karen Rennich, introduced me to the incredible behind-the-scenes work to which BIP’s staff members dedicate themselves to keep BIP’s services accessible and meaningful for beekeepers.  I look forward to working with our current collaborators and to bridging new partnerships as we explore more ways to use beekeeping data to improve honey bee health. I’m thrilled to be joining BIP in this role.  For many years I spent time working for non-profit organizations and the…

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Bee Informed is Wonderful, So Happy to Have Them

Holiday Greetings!, Beekeepers participating in Bee Informed programs have access to a broad network of apiculture specialists. From the Bee Health Field Specialists that provide hands-on assessments with commercial beekeepers to the lab and database techs, and subject matter experts that provide timely insights to current trends, diagnosis of observed problems, and current and best practices for fixing those problems. But this isn't just how I would describe BIP, let's hear it from Jason Hough, a nuc, package bee and honey producer in Maryland who has these words to say about the Bee Informed Partnership as he was interviewed by Eric Malcolm in the video…

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Until we meet again…

As 2019 rushes to a close and we usher in a new year, a big change is also happening at the Bee Informed Partnership. After 9 years leading the efforts at BIP, I am stepping down and am delighted to introduce Annette ("Net") Meredith as our new Executive Director. Net will follow with her own blog introducing herself, her background and experience, and some thoughts on joining the BIP team. She has many exciting ideas, is super organized and is looking forward to meeting all of you. We could not have found a better person to continue our efforts and grow all of our programs.…

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BIP Tech Team Field Agents as Early Alarm Systems

In Northern California this past spring, colony growth was slow due to the cooler weather. So slow in fact, that most Queen Producers started breeding up to a month late!  Additionally, the numerous fungicide applications in the orchards accumulating on forage, may have been another factor impacting colony health and growth. The conditions were so wet this year, growers had to apply more aerial sprays to control fungus. Most of these sprays were performed during the daytime and most likely increase bee exposure to fungicides, especially in standing watering holes for bees, where pesticides may be present at higher levels. A week or so into…

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BIP works harder…

I want to start by saying 'Thank You' for your support of the Bee Informed Partnership. We are so grateful for you and those we're able to serve and support through our work. The sense of purpose and community we all feel is like nothing I've had the honor to experience before. I know you've been asked by everyone to donate this month, and especially on this Day of Giving, but I'm asking that you show your support for us today. I'm also going to let you in on a bit of inside information. To say that the BIP Team stays pretty busy, is a…

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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 behaved in a docile manner. As pest and disease pressures have increased in recent years breeders have increasingly incorporated hygienic behavior as a criteria for selection. Hygienic behavior is a trait that helps colonies control several stressors including American Foulbrood, chalkbrood, and Varroa mites. Hygienic behavior is identified by performing…

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What’s in a BIP truck

Earlier this month, we posted a blog about some of the logistics behind the exhaustive work that the Tech Transfer Team Program accomplishes and our Board has highlighted some of the impacts they have made. Our Honey Bee Health Field Specialists drive around the country to inspect, sample, diagnose, report and consult on honey bee colony health and management practices. As reported, they drive A LOT! Their work truck functions like a mobile laboratory, filled with inspection and sampling equipment. You can read more about their truck content in this blog, but why don’t we show you what we mean? The Field Specialists go through…

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