New Tool Improves Beekeepers’ Overwintering
Odds and Bottom Line

ARS News Service By Kim Kaplan   TUCSON, ARIZONA, September 18, 2019—A new tool from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) can predict the odds that honey bee colonies overwintered in cold storage will be large enough to rent for almond pollination in February. Identifying which colonies which colonies will not be worth spending dollars to overwinter can improve beekeepers' bottom line. Beekeepers have been …

Microbes on the Menu for Bee Larvae

ARS News Service By Jan Suszkiw MADISON, WISCONSIN, August 20, 2019—Bees only feast on nectar and pollen, right? Wrong. Turns out, Nature's famously busy insect isn't strictly vegan, after all. Reporting online in this month's American Naturalist, a team of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and university scientists has shown that bee larvae (brood) have a taste for "microbial meat." ARS entomologist Shawn Steffan and his …

Honey Bee Health Coalition Releases Information to Help Beekeepers, Veterinarians Manage Foulbrood

Guide includes how to test and treat American and European Foulbrood, new Veterinary Feed Directive rules for using antibiotics, and the importance of being vigilant The Honey Bee Health Coalition unveiled a new resource for beekeepers today — an information sheet for hive management decisions related to American Foulbrood (AFB) and European Foulbrood (EFB). An expert team of beekeepers, entomologists, apiary …

Weak Honey Bee Colonies May Fail From Cold Exposure During Shipping

by Kim Kaplan   FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA, April 18, 2019—Cold temperatures inside honey bee colonies may cause colony losses during and after long-distance hauling, according to a preliminary study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. Every year almost 2 million honey bee colonies—nearly two-thirds of the managed colonies in the United States—are loaded aboard semi-trailers and shipped across the country multiple times to …

New RT25 Data Will Help Beekeepers and
Farmers Protect Pollinators

EPA is updating its Residual Time to 25% Bee Mortality (RT25) Data table with information the agency has collected since the table was first published in 2014. EPA published the RT25 data as one of many actions we have taken since 2006 to protect pollinators. RT25 data help farmers and beekeepers know about how long a specific pesticide may remain toxic …

Honey Bee Health Coalition Members Release Corn, Canola Guides for Bee Protection

National Corn Growers Association, U.S. Canola Association partner with Coalition to develop best practices growers can use to reduce risk to honey bees, other pollinators   Two Honey Bee Health Coalition member organizations — the National Corn Growers Association and the U.S. Canola Association — recently unveiled best management practices for growers to help protect bees in and around corn and canola …

Scientists Find Evidence of 27 New Viruses in Bees

We’ve all heard of Deformed Wing Virus and most of you can probably list another 3 or 4 honey bee viruses. But what other viruses still lurk undiscovered? An international team of researchers uncovered evidence of 27 previously unknown viruses in bees. The finding could help scientists design strategies to prevent the spread of viral pathogens among these important pollinators. "Populations …

Raiding the Rape Field

Honey bees can produce vast amounts of honey off canola, known as oilseed rape in Europe. It’s an early flow that can crystallize in the comb if the weather turns cool. Some beekeepers lately have become hesitant about placing their colonies near canola, worried that the pollen from treated fields is negatively impacting honey bee health. New research shows that …