Participate in the First Ever Mite-A-Thon

A single Varroa mite infestation can quickly spread and devastate hives across an entire region. Early detection and control are key to supporting honey bee health and preventing catastrophic infestations. That’s why the Honey Bee Health Coalition, which has developed essential Varroa mite resources, is proud to support the first ever Mite-A-Thon.

The Coalition urges beekeepers to participate in this exciting and free event by visiting www.pollinator.org/miteathon. Continue reading

Build native bee nesting sites to attract pollinating bees to your landscape

By Josh Fuder, University of Georgia

When most people think about bees, honeybees and their hives of hexagonal, wax honeycombs come to mind. Unlike most bees, honeybees are social insects. Only 6 percent of bee species are social.

There are approximately 4,000 species of native bees in North America and 542 species live in Georgia. Native bees nest in the ground or in cavities, like hollow stems or bored holes in wood. According to the Xerces Society, only 250 female orchard mason bees are required to pollinate an acre of apples. This same task would typically require 15,000 to 20,000 forager honeybees. Continue reading

Protecting Pollinators in Urban Landscapes – Save the Date

Two years ago Elsa Youngsteadt and Steve Frank from NC State joined forces with Dave SmitleyHeidi Wollaeger, and others from Michigan State University to organize the first national conference related to pollinator conservation in ornamental plant production and urban landscapes. Over 150 people with jobs in research, extension, industry, government, or NGOs spent 3 days in the North Carolina mountains with a lineup of renowned international speakers.

But this conference was not just about listening; it was also about talking and discussing pressing issues such as insecticide safety and habitat conservation. Folks studying bee conservation had dinner with folks from agrochemical companies. Extension folks trying to find real-world pest management solutions had beers with beekeepers and conservationists. Many of these interactions may not have ever happened without this conference. Continue reading

Feed A Bee announces plantings to celebrate National Honey Bee Day

In Morning Ag Clips

Mark your calendars now! August 19 is National Honey Bee Day, and Bayer’s Feed a Bee will be buzzing across the country to plant thousands of wildflowers from New York toCalifornia – all in one day.

Since 2015, the Feed a Bee initiative has distributed over 3 billion wildflower seeds for pollinator plantings, establishing additional nutrition and habitat sources across the nation. This National Honey Bee Day, Feed a Bee will be celebrating with special planting events to add even more to the pollinator gardens at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New YorkNorth Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and thePlacer Land Trust’s School Park Community Garden inAuburn, California. Continue reading

If you want a good pollinator plant, think about a cup plant

By Norman Winter, University of Georgia

When it comes to backyard wildlife, the cup plant does it all. To me, it is like the flag-bearing perennial for bees, butterflies and birds. It is a stalwart and is native in 34 states, from Louisiana, north to Canada and sweeping across all states east.

Its size makes it seem like it is the composite, or aster, that ate New York. It is big, bold and wonderful, and this is the time of the year it shines the most. Continue reading

Honey bee populations begin to improve

by Alan Bjerga, Bloomberg

The number of U.S. honeybees, a critical component to agricultural production, rose in 2017 from a year earlier, and deaths of the insects attributed to a mysterious malady that’s affected hives in North America and Europe declined, according a U.S. Department of Agriculture honeybee health survey released Tuesday.

The number of commercial U.S. honeybee colonies rose 3% to 2.89 million as of April 1, 2017, compared with a year earlier, the Agriculture Department reported. The number of hives lost to Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon of disappearing bees that has raised concerns among farmers and scientists for a decade, was 84,430 in this year’s first quarter, down 27% from a year earlier. Year-over-year losses declined by the same percentage in April through June, the most recent data in the survey. Continue reading

NC State study finds Triangle bees can’t stand the heat

In the News and Observer

On a hot summer day, urban areas of the Triangle can be up to five degrees warmer than surrounding rural locations, and the temperature gap grows after the sun sets, as acres of pavement, concrete and steel emit heat absorbed during the day.

The phenomenon is known as the “urban heat island” effect, and a recent N.C. State University study shows that many of North Carolina’s native bee species keep away from hot, urban areas. The study also offers a glimpse at how bees might be affected by rising temperatures due to climate change. Continue reading