Location: Bee Research LaboratoryTitle: Found in Translation: What’s going on at the USDA’s Beltsville Bee Research Laboratory
Submitted to: Bee Culture
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/28/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Practical research discoveries follow a twisting path. Basic research driven by the human need to understand nature can, often years or even decades later, lead to huge advances that benefit people or the environment. Alternatively, sure-thing tests of a new product, management strategy, or breeding scheme often fail at the last moment when applied to ‘real’ life. In the column ‘Found in Translation’, I will describe success stories in translational bee research, projects where the toil of scientists has led to ‘news you can use’ as a beekeeper. These stories will come from university, government, or industry scientists in the worldwide bee research community who have made an important and practical discovery, or who have put pieces together from others’ research to make a substantial advance for the bee industry. While I promise not to over-rate hometeam advances by USDA, this first month I have the honor of introducing the scientists at the USDA Agricultural Research Service Bee Research Lab (BRL) in Beltsville, MD and describing how they are working to address issues facing bees. Next month will begin explorations of impactful research from around the bee world. USDA scientists have conducted bee research near Washington DC for over 100 years, and at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center since the 1930’s. Currently, the BRL is comprised of nine full-time federal employees and a team of 20+ students and collaborators from the U.S., England, Thailand, Spain, and China. The mission of the BRL is to provide innovative tools and insights for building and maintaining healthy honey bee populations.