Carolina Jessamine Part 2: does it harm native bees?

This is my second post on the Carolina jessamine plant. The first post covered the effects of Carolina jessamine pollen on Honey bee colonies. The adult bees can become less active and die, and brood can die as well. But the Carolina jessamine plant is native to the Southeast United States. Honey bees are not. They were brought to the Americas by humans. This means that honey bees have not co-evolved with Carolina jessamine the way that native bees have. Do the chemicals in the plant affect native bees as well? I did a literature search to look for answers to this question. I was able to find…

Continue Reading →

National Management Survey App

If you haven't heard by now, the Bee Informed Partnership has been hosting an annual management survey for many years. The survey is data intensive and collects detailed information about many different aspects of beekeeping. The survey has reached tens of thousands of beekeepers and has spanned the better half of the last decade. The survey has proved to be very successful and has generated a significant amount of data. Our team of researchers and technology professionals have spent many years analyzing this data to gain a clearer picture of honey bee health. Now, we want to make this data easily accessible to everyone by…

Continue Reading →

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 beauty and fragrance. The plants contain alkaloids that are toxic to humans and other vertebrates. Many beekeepers in East Texas report having experienced weakened colonies due to Yellow Jessamine. When I searched through the scientific literature, I found no published studies on the effects of Yellow Jessamine, or the toxic alkaloids…

Continue Reading →

2016 Sentinel Apiary Program Results

With the help of beekeepers all over the country, we have successfully completed our second year of the Sentinel Apiary Program! In 2016, 28 beekeepers from 16 states worked with us. Together we: Sampled and monitored the health of 289 colonies Processed 1,229 samples for Varroa and Nosema Shared data from 32 hive scales Collaborated with our beekeeping neighbors to improve colony health in our regions After compiling over six months of Varroa, Nosema, and colony inspection data, we are excited to share our results (see the complete 2016 Summary Report Here). Below you can compare our Sentinel Apiary Participant's average monthly Varroa levels to the APHIS National Honey…

Continue Reading →

Signs of Spring in Florida’s Orange Groves

  Florida’s winters are relatively mild and it’s hard to tell what season we’re in at times.  The orange blossom is a clear sign the spring is beginning here in the Sunshine State.  Along with being the State Flower of Florida, the orange blossom has helped produce a coveted honey crop for over 50 years.  The fragrant blooms are irresistible for honey bees and other pollinators in the central and southern parts of the state’s peninsula.  The orange blossom often begins blooming as early as the middle of  January with the main nectar flow starting in the middle of February and running through the month…

Continue Reading →

2017 Spring Pollen and Nectar Source: Pussy Willow

As spring approaches and the days grow longer, more plants are starting to bloom, including pussy willows. These plants usually bloom here in Northern California between February and March. There are several species of this plant but Salix discolor is the most commonly found. I usually find these trees near water though they are also used as ornamental plantings. There is a tree in the image below in bloom. Once you get closer to the trees, you can start to see the catkins, which are unique on this plant as opposed to the alders which are also in bloom now (For more information see Ben's…

Continue Reading →

Alders Valued as Early NorCal Pollen Source

As January comes to a close and much of the country is still buried in snow, signs of spring are beginning to show here in Northern California. After receiving above-average rainfall this winter, the land feels as if it's ready to burst with life after years of severe drought. Farmers and beekeepers already have high expectations for the year as reservoirs  fill and the land soaks up rainfall.  Forage for bees in most of California has been been very scarce in recent years and beekeepers have relied on near year-round protein feeding. This is especially crucial in preparation for taking the bees into the almond…

Continue Reading →

Hi from Phoebe Koenig, new Midwest Tech Team Member

Hi! I’m a new member of the Midwest Tech Team, and am looking forward to meeting many of you in the future. Here is a little bit about my honey bee background and my motivation for getting involved in the Bee Informed Partnership: I first became interested in honey bees when I was taking an animal behavior class as a college undergraduate. It fascinated me that so many individuals help the queen reproduce, sacrificing their own reproduction. I wanted to learn the theories underlying this phenomenon, and found that the more I learned, the more my interest in bees was cultivated. I wanted to learn…

Continue Reading →

New Web-based Tool for Fast Identification of Bee Mites

Parasitic mites are known to be a factor in recent declines in bee pollinator populations. In particular, Varroa destructor, an introduced parasite and disease vector, has decimated colonies of the western honey bee, one of the most important agricultural pollinators in the world. Further, global trade in alternative pollinators increases the likelihood of moving mites, so there is a potential for more Varroa-style invasions. USDA’s Identification Technology Program (ITP) has released Bee Mite ID: Bee-associated Mite Genera of the World, its latest identification tool, to help biosecurity specialists and beekeepers identify the mites of greatest concern, which could help prevent such invasions. Bee Mite ID…

Continue Reading →

Want to Help Bees? – BIP Tech Team Fundraiser

Want to Help Honey Bees?             DONATE!              Help us expand the Bee Tech Team program to improve honey bee health and safeguard the food supply. WE NEED YOUR HELP. The success of the Bee Tech Team program has created demands beyond the scope of our existing funds. To scale our impact, we’re launching a campaign to raise 50K, a small portion of those funds. Help our campaign by donating funds and sharing our ask with others. ENGAGE. Help us spread the word by agreeing to share our campaign with your network. AMPLIFY. Provide a grant and/or matching funds to ensure the campaign’s success. HOW DO BEE TECH…

Continue Reading →

Be Involved. Be Included.Bee Informed.

Donate Now ! →