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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: The Effect of Reducing Exposure to Certain Pesticides on Overwintering Ability of Managed Honey Bee Hives

Location: Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research

Project Number: 6050-21000-014-07-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 9, 2013
End Date: Sep 8, 2018

The objective of this cooperative research is to determine if certain row crop pesticides have an effect on the ability of honey bees to overwinter.

A field study will be conducted in Iowa and Arkansas. In the fall of 2013 or early spring of 2014, 120 nucleus colonies started with sister queens and fresh comb will be established in Iowa and Arkansas. At each location in April 2014, the 120 colonies will be separated into two apiaries: a control apiary that has a suspected low level of pesticide pressure and an apiary located next to a corn field that is suspected to have a higher level of pesticide exposure. The colonies will be monitored and sampled throughout the year for various colony health parameters including, but not limited to, adult bees, brood numbers and quality, varroa mite levels, pesticide levels, total protein and vitellogenin levels, and hypopharengal gland weight. Pesticide residues from bees, pollen, and surrounding vegetation will be sent to the USDA, AMS, National Science Laboratory for analyses.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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