The Bee Informed Partnership is an extension project with one simple goal: To reduce honey bee colony loss. The past several years have seen unsustainably high colony loss and the threat of decreased honey bee populations could have a drastic effect on the nation’s food supply. Over 1/3 of all food consumed is dependent on bee pollination and with beekeepers reporting average annual colony loss between 40 and 50 percent, farmers as well as researchers are desperate for answers. The Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) employs several tactics to better understand why honey bees are declining at such alarming rates through winter-loss surveys as well as
University of Florida Bee Informed Partnership
The Southern California Tech Transfer Team works primarily with migratory beekeepers from Florida and Georgia who ship bees out for almond pollination in the San Joaquin Valley from January through March. Stationed at the University of Florida’s Entomology and Nematology department in the summer and fall and at the Shafter Research Station in Shafter, California during almond bloom, the Tech Team follows beekeepers on their pollination route from almonds in California to blueberries in Michigan and Maine and to Florida to overwinter in preparation for the next season.
assisted monitoring services. The most effective endeavor is the Tech-Transfer Teams, one or two person teams stationed in different regions of the country working with commercial beekeepers to monitor their colonies throughout the year. The teams sample for various pests and pathogens as well as pesticides and hygienic testing for breeder queen selection. As the “boots-on-the-ground” part of BIP, the Tech Team collects samples which the University of Maryland diagnostic lab processes immediately in order for beekeepers to see the results within 7 to 10 days of the collection date. With the quick turnaround, beekeepers use the data to make informed, real-time management decisions.