Funding opportunities for pollinator health projects

Here are several funding opportunities that support pollinator health research, educational and extension projects in 2017: Continue reading

Bee Mite ID: Bee-associated Mite Genera of the World

Authors: Pavel Klimov, Barry OConnor, Ronald Ochoa, Gary Bauchan, Amanda Redford, and Julia Scher

bee-mite-idITP is pleased to announce the release of its latest identification tool, Bee Mite ID: Bee-associated Mite Genera of the World. Pollinating bees play an essential role in agriculture, and parasitic mites are known to be a factor in recent declines in bee pollinator populations. Varroa destructor, an introduced mite parasite and disease vector, has decimated colonies of the European honey bee, one of the most important agricultural pollinators in the world. Global trade in alternative pollinators increases the likelihood of moving mites, so there is a potential for more Varroa-style invasions. Biosecurity specialists and beekeepers need a tool to help them identify the mites of greatest concern to help prevent such invasions. Bee Mite ID enables users to identify the mite life stages that may be found on bees or in their nests and to distinguish harmful from non-harmful mites. The tool focuses on mites associated with important pollinators and includes components both specialists and non-specialists can use. Continue reading

Harvard scientists build tiny robots to pollinate plants

by Dina Spector, Business Insider

Honeybees, which pollinate nearly  one-third of the food we eat , have been dying at unprecedented rates because of a mysterious phenomenon known as  colony collapse disorder (CCD). The situation is so dire that in late June the White House gave a  new task force  just 180 days to devise a coping strategy to protect bees and other pollinators. The crisis is generally attributed to a mixture of disease, parasites, and pesticides.

Other scientists are pursuing a different tack: replacing bees. While there’s no perfect solution, modern technology offers hope. Continue reading

How to protect and enhance pollinators – new e-manual available

Extension specialists at Michigan State University and the Ohio State University have developed an online manual on how to protect and increase pollinators in the landscape. The book focuses on the North Central region, as is clear in the title, Protecting and enhancing pollinators in urban landscapes for the US North Central Region, but it contains recommendations that pertain to any region. Continue reading

Research finding new ways to protect pollinator health

A USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Impact Spotlight

September is National Honey Month and you can’t have honey without honey bees. There are direct links between the health of American agriculture and the health of bees and other pollinators.

Pollination is critical to the production of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, which are important parts of a healthy diet. Pollination by managed honey bee colonies adds at least $15 billion to the value of U.S. agriculture annually through increased yields and superior-quality harvests. Continue reading

University of DC’s Rooftop Garden hosts celebration of Pollinator Week

from USDA

A garden in the sky. That’s the best way to describe the Green Roof, a rooftop garden at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), the nation’s only urban land grant university. This living laboratory is one of the latest features at UDC’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), which is also home to The Center for 4-H & Youth Development. 4-H is the nation’s premiere youth development program, managed by National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

UDC 4-H students were among the Green Roof guests at an event to highlight National Pollinator Week and the White House Pollinator Health Initiative, a multi-agency partnership to promote pollinator health, reduce honey bee colony loss, and restore pollinator habitat. Continue reading

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Food Security Challenge Area

The AFRI Food Security Challenge Area focuses on the societal challenge to keep American agriculture competitive and end world hunger by ensuring the availability and accessibility of safe and nutritious food. The long-term goal of the AFRI Food Security Challenge Area is to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and the availability and accessibility of safe and nutritious food. Continue reading