Honey bees are critical for crop pollination in the United States. The US is the first global producer of almonds and blueberries, and both of these crops require large numbers of managed honey bee colonies to maximize yields. In California, almond trees cover 1.4 million acres that supply about 70% of the demands worldwide. In Michigan, the acreage of blueberries has reached over 20,000 acres that produce about 100 million pounds of blueberries every year.
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Are you using IPM tactics to manage varroa mites? When it comes to keeping levels of parasitic mites low, there are numerous options available. In our latest Penn State Extension article, we outline the options and how they fit on the IPM pyramid (figure 1). IPM stands for Integrated Pest Management. The pest is the varroa mite and the main idea is to try integrate various practices to manage their population, from choosing hygienic bees
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Morning sting, Spring Newsletter 2019 López-Uribe Lab at Penn State University Spring has arrived and there is much to be excited about. Check out our research and local events from the Center for Pollinator Research and Penn State Extension. Our research and extension programs aim to integrate basic research with citizen science to understand how agricultural practices impact pollinator populations. Using these methods, we are helping inform sustainable practices and crop management strategies to both
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Windbreaks and wind breaks Photo by Larry Mutti Wind is common in winter in the northeast. This winter, there was a particularly distressing wind event that blasted the northeast Sunday into Monday 24-25 February 2019.  Strong eastward winds whipped through the area causing downed trees, destroyed fences, partial building collapses, and lost power to many residents and businesses. With wind gusts often breaking 50 mph, windbreaks built by beekeepers to protect hives over the winter
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Purdue ankle biting bees: What’s the buzz? The beekeeping industry is facing serious challenges to maintain the necessary number of colonies to supply the demands for crop pollination. One of the major problems that honey bees have comes from the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, which transmit lethal honey bee viruses. Currently, most managed honey bee colonies cannot survive the winter without varroa treatment, and even with intensive management regimes, beekeepers are losing on average 50%
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