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% of their colonies in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania […]
2018 COMB Stakeholder Meeting On November 30th 2018, 33 beekeepers and researchers met at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Boalsburg, PA to discuss results of the first year of the COMB project, and next steps for beekeeping management decisions for year two of the project.  The day was filled with updates about how the project went in its first bee season. In summary, the packages were installed in late April 2018 in all four regions of […]
Since 2016 the López-Uribe lab has been leading a citizen science project that aims to map and characterize the health status of feral bees across Pennsylvania (check out our website: Tracking the Health of Feral Bees in PA). We had reports of 17 known feral locations by the end of 2017. Since then the project has grown substantially. In early 2018, a total of 56 feral locations were reported. The colony locations range throughout the […]
In late April, we established 288 honey bee colonies in three regions of Pennsylvania and one region in West Virginia for the COMB (Conventional and Organic Management of Bees) project. In each region, we are working with two certified organic farmers who allowed us to place three apiaries, each holding 12 colonies. In each apiary, four colonies are managed using each of the three management systems: conventional, organic, and chemical free (Figure 1). For establishment and […]
National Pollinator Week, #pollinatorweek “Shoo fly”, we often think; but think again, that fly might be an important pollinator for some of your favorite foods, including mangoes, kiwi, coffee and canola. Insects are the most common of all pollinators, pollinating roughly 90% of all flowering plants. The most common pollinators include bees, wasps, moths, butterflies, flies and beetles. Bees by far receive the most publicity, which is well deserved because they are among the most […]