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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Invasive Species and Pollinator Health » Research » Research Project #438788

Research Project: Analyzing Factors Contributing to Long-term Honey Bee Health and Hive Performance

Location: Invasive Species and Pollinator Health

Project Number: 2030-21000-053-02-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 3, 2020
End Date: Aug 1, 2023

Objective:
Develop collaborative research efforts on honey bee health, colony performance for sustainable delivery of pollination services. To determine the impacts of poor nutrition and agrochemical stress on honey bee health and colony performance and in collaboration with USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists, establish remote colony monitoring sensors in the apiaries of beekeeper stakeholders for long-term longitudinal censusing procedures, generating datasets on colony and environmental parameters and analyzing these parameters in relation to honey bee health.

Approach:
The ARSInvasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Unit will continue collaborations with the Bee Biology Lab of the University of California Davis (UC Davis), Department of Entomology and Nematology, on different projects aimed at improving honey bee health and colony performance. Bee colonies in UC Davis apiaries will be made available to ARS researchers. In addition, cooperator apiaries and methods to assess colony performance will be shared. Methods to determine the impacts of phytochemic ARS researchers and UC Davis collaborators will work jointly developing protocol to assess queen performance, gene expression of important genes relating to mite loads in colonies. Together research personnel, support staff and cooperators will develop and standardize protocols for automated hive monitoring sensors that will be instrumental in setting up connected hive systems across California. In addition to joint peer reviewed publication, outcomes will be evaluated and promoted in cooperation with the University of California (UC) Cooperative Extension Service specialists. Program enhancements will thus be directly transferred to end-users as the program advances through direct application and assessment.