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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Constructing a Pollination and Nut Set Model

Location: Honey Bee Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Construct a WWW-based program to predict cross-pollination and nut set in almond orchards based on weather conditions, orchard design, and bee foraging population size.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
A WWW-based model will be constructed that predicts cross-pollination and nut set in almond orchards. The model will be designed as a 3-tier architecture which will include a web presentation layer, a model logic layer, and a data access layer. The web presentation layer will be based on the ASP.NET technology to allow for a rich internet user experience. The data access layer will interface with the MySQL Server database engine, the standard at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center. The model logic layer will be written in the C# language. Once completed, the model will be able to be run from anyone with an internet connection using standard web browsers. Documents SCA with Crystal River.


3.Progress Report:

As part of our research program to reduce Varroa mites, we created a mathematical model of honey bee colony and Varroa mite population dynamics. The project relates to the objectives of the parent project by demonstrating the effects of colony availability and population size on almond nut set. We used the model to develop an integrated mite control program. The model predicted the timing of miticide applications that would keep Varroa populations at levels where they would not harm honey bee colonies. The model was validated and is available as public domain software. We used the model to develop a mite control program using HopGuard developed under a Copperative Research and Development Agreement (Project # 5342-21000-015-17C, DETERMINING THE EFFICACY OF HOPGUARD IN COLONIES AND IN PACKAGED BEES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES). Additionally, a world wide web (WWW)-based program to predict almond yields was completed. The model accurately predicts yields and can be used to evaluate the number of honey bee colonies needed to optimize pollination under different orchard and weather conditions. The model also predicts the financial impact of reduced almond production due to shortages of honey bee colonies.


Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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