Location: Bee Research Laboratory
Project Number: 0500-00044-024-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: Oct 1, 2007
End Date: Sep 30, 2012
The objective of this program is to improve overall colony survival and availability for pollination by bringing together recent ARS research findings on mite-resistant bee stocks, improved diets, mite and disease control alternatives and general colony management techniques into a comprehensive bee management system. The overarching goal of this Areawide program is to increase colony survival and availability for pollination and thus increase the profitability of beekeeping in the U.S.
The Program will focus on bringing together recent ARS research including: 1) two ARS bee stock improvements, Russian bees and the Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) trait (Baton Rouge); 2) improvements in nutrition, Mega Bee® (Tucson), HFCS research results (Weslaco); 3) parasitic mite management techniques including new chemical controls 2-heptanone (Tucson), Hivastan® (Weslaco) and non-chemical controls plastic drone comb (Beltsville) and screen bottom boards (Beltsville); 4) management practices including the use of antibiotics, Tylosin® (Beltsville) and Nosema controls (Weslaco and Beltsville). A year-round management scheme will be tested in large migratory and smaller non-migratory beekeeping operations with an emphasis on the larger migratory beekeepers that supply bees to almonds (almost half of all managed bees in the U.S.) The country will be divided into geographic regions as follows; East, Mid-West & West. It is imperative to tests in many geographic regions as bees and bee pests and diseases grow at different rates in different parts of the country.