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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Tucson, Arizona » Carl Hayden Bee Research Center » Research » Research Project #439591

Research Project: Improving Overwintering of Colonies in Cold Storage by Reducing Varroa Migration and Improving the Health of Wintering Bees

Location: Carl Hayden Bee Research Center

Project Number: 2022-21000-022-19-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Oct 2, 2020
End Date: Sep 30, 2021

Objective:
To conduct studies to improve overwintering in cold storage by improving Varroa control in the fall, and creating healthy winter bees. Determine the effects of brood on the migration of foragers with mites into honey bee colonies through the following objectives. 1) Determine the effects of brood on the migration of foragers with mites into honey bee colonies. 2) Determine the effects of queen egg laying and brood rearing on fat body protein and lipid levels before and after overwintering in cold storage. 3) Determine if therapeutics or pollen feeding alone can reduce Nosema infections and improve colony size after cold storage.

Approach:
In this Plan, we describe an approach for conducting studies to improve overwintering in cold storage by improving Varroa control in the fall, and creating healthy winter bees. Our findings will be developed into recommendations for beekeepers that overwinter colonies in cold storage and expand the geographic region where this overwintering method is possible.