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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #391014

Research Project: Managing Honey Bees Against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: The Movement of Western Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.) Among U.S. States and Territories: History, Benefits, Risks, and Mitigation Strategies

item MARCELINO, JOSE - University Of Florida
item BRAESE, CHARLES - University Of Florida
item CHRISTMON, KRISZTINA - University Of Maryland
item Evans, Jay
item GILLIGAN, TODD - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item GIRAY, TUGRUL - University Of Puerto Rico
item NEARMAN, ANTHONY - University Of Maryland
item NINO, ELINA - University Of California, Davis
item ROSE, ROBYN - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item SHEPPARD, WALTER - Washington State University
item SPIVAK, MARLA - University Of Minnesota
item VANENGELSDORP, DENNIS - University Of Maryland
item ELLIS, JAMES - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2022
Publication Date: 5/1/2022
Citation: Marcelino, J., Braese, C., Christmon, K., Evans, J.D., Gilligan, T., Giray, T., Nearman, A., Nino, E., Rose, R., Sheppard, W., Spivak, M., Vanengelsdorp, D., Ellis, J. 2022. The movement of Western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) among U.S. states and territories: history, benefits, risks, and mitigation strategies. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 10:850600.

Interpretive Summary: No summary is required

Technical Abstract: Beekeeping is a cornerstone activity that contributes to human food security and has led to the global spread of western honey bees (HB, Apis mellifera). Honey bee movement (transport of honey bees among U.S. states and territories) is regulated within the U.S. at the state, territory, and federal levels, though differences in movement regulations exist between the states/territories. In November 2020, we convened a technical working group (TWG) to develop a standardized and integrative analysis of the intentional, human-mediated movement of honey bees within the U.S. Herein, we review the (1) history of honey bee importation into/movement within the U.S., (2) current regulations regarding honey bee movement and case studies on the application of those regulations, (3) benefits associated with moving honey bees within the U.S., (4) risks associated with moving honey bees within the U.S., and (5) risk mitigation strategies. We are not proposing policies be developed to regulate honey bee movement within the U.S. In fact, we believe beekeepers should continue to be allowed to move honey bee colonies among states/territories as they do under current management scenarios (i.e. for commercial pollination, honey production, or similar existing activities). Instead, we hope this review will inform future efforts aimed at creating standardized best policies for the safe movement of honey bees among U.S. states and territories