I visit pumpkin farms across Pennsylvania to investigate host-pathogen dynamics in bee communities. In pumpkin fields, we typically see three bee species foraging – honey bees, wild bumble bees and wild squash bees. Haven’t heard of squash bees before? These are incredibly important, solitary bees that specialize on the pollen of pumpkin and squash. In fact, they are some of the best pollinators for pumpkin crops in Pennsylvania! Unlike social honey bees and bumble bees […]
Honey bee colonies have been in decline in recent years due to many factors, including lack of high-quality nutrition, exposure to pesticides, and pressure from pests and pathogens. Infestations of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor play a large role in these staggering colony losses. These mites feed on the fat body and hemolymph of bees, and in the process, they transmit a cocktail of viruses that weakens the individuals and eventually the whole colony. For […]
The year 2020 has been difficult for multiple reasons. With businesses shut down, then opening with limited capacity, the pocketbooks of beekeepers have been lighter than hoped.  A recent announcement should bring some aid to those who need it. If you are a honey producer who makes less than $900,000 per year, you could get up to 10.6% of your total 2019 honey sales in financial aid through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP2).   […]
Wednesdays @3PM (EST) – 1h 15 min via zoom Join us for the Pollinator Webinar Series organized moderated by Tom Butzler and Dr. Margarita Lopez-Uribe from Penn State Extension. These eight webinars will cover a whole range of topics from beekeeping management to wild bee biodiversity and how to create habitat for pollinators. Webinars will take place on consecutive Wednesdays, starting on June 3rd at 3 PM (EST), 2 PM (CST), 1 PM (MST), and […]