Project Apis m. is seeking a Habitat Program Manager to join our team! Below are the details of the position, and you can download a copy of the position announcement HERE. Help us get the word out!
Project Apis m. is a 501(c)5 nonprofit organization founded in 2006. Project Apis m.’s mission is to fund and direct research to enhance the health and vitality of honey bee colonies while improving crop production. Project Apis m. (PAm) also builds programs to improve honey bee health such as best management practices and honey bee habitat programs. Project Apis m. 2.0 is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2017 to expand the reach of Project Apis m. to a new audience. The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund is a program of PAm 2.0. Project Apis m. is committed to creating a purposeful and intentional workspace for all employees and constituents. We are committed to inclusivity, learning, community, integrity, and humility.
The habitat program manager supports PAm’s mission by managing the Seeds for Bees Program in California, liaising with the Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund in the Midwest, and interacting with research efforts on honey bee nutrition and habitat. The habitat program manager engages with farmers and almond growers in California’s central valley to recruit Seeds for Bees participants and to provide technical assistance to participants. This position represents Project Apis m. at national and regional meetings, providing an overview of all PAm’s programs, promoting our mission, and recruiting habitat participants. The successful applicant will exhibit enthusiasm toward and dedication to serving the beekeeping industry and crop production.
A Free Virtual Event
Register & Join the Conference Here
November 11 & 12, 2021
8:30 Am - 12 Pm Pacific Time
This year the entire West and Northern Midwest is experiencing drought, leaving some growers with barely enough water to keep their crops healthy. Beekeepers are also struggling in places like North Dakota, where honey bees are preparing for almond pollination in February and some beekeepers are reporting record low honey crops. When nectar dries up, bees struggle to produce the honey they need to survive Winter.
Access to clean, nutritious forage is essential for all bees, and as bee forage is declining each year in the USA, the number of native bees and managed bees are also declining. 75 years ago there were nearly twice as many honey bee colonies in the US, and more than half the native bee species assessed seem to be in decline.
Four honey bee health graduate students were awarded $55K through PAm’s Christi Heintz Memorial Award in 2020. A year later, we are checking in to see how the first field season went for the awardees. “Christi would be so pleased and impressed with the students we have funded in her honor,” PAm Executive Director Danielle Downey said.
Rogan Tokach, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Awarded $10,000
Rogan Tokach studies how pesticide-contaminated food impacts a colony's ability to re-queen itself and individual bee development. Honey bees are often located in, or adjacent to, agricultural systems, where pesticides are used to manage pests but can impact honey bee health.
Salt Lake City, Utah-August 25th 2021.
Managed honey bees in North America are under increasing pressure to meet pollination demands for our food supply. At the same time, annual colony losses are high- 45.5% in the US in 2020, and the natural forage which gives bees healthy nutrition and a honey crop for producers is decreasing. Colony losses are often attributed to pathogens, parasites, pesticides, hive management (queen mating, genetics, maintenance), climate, and available nutrition. United States honey production in 2020 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 148 million pounds, down 6% from 2019. Sustainable beekeeping is dependent on maximizing outputs (colony health, colony numbers, pollination contracts, honey production, profitability) while minimizing the inputs (time, money, personnel, treatments). A sustainable beekeeping industry contributes to a more sustainable agricultural landscape through a stable supply of bees for crop pollination. Therefore, PAm is requesting research proposals that focus on enhancing the health, survival and productivity of honey bee colonies, which provide practical and tangible solutions to the beekeeping industry.
Beekeeping is a big industry and interest in Canada. In 2019, Canada produced 80.4 million pounds of honey, and in 2017 pollination services in Canada were estimated to contribute between 4.0 and 5.5 billion dollars to the nation’s economy.1 Canada is a major producer of canola and blueberries, two crops that benefit greatly from pollination services. Unfortunately, beekeepers in Canada face similar challenges to those in the U.S. making research a necessity for improving honey bee health, creating and optimizing tools for beekeepers. In 2020, the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) reported 30.2% colony losses over winter, nationally, with some provinces losing as many as 40.7% of their colonies.2
Farmers and Growers in California are encouraged to apply for free or discounted cover crop and forage seed to help support the nutritional needs of honey bees and native pollinators.
Planting pollinator forage and blooming cover crops is a management practice that can help you meet your sustainability goals and qualify for Bee Friendly Farming certification. Improved bee and soil health, weed control, and beneficial insect habitat are just a few of the benefits of planting Seeds for Bees. Individualized, one-on-one technical support is provided at no cost for all growers who qualify.
Learn more at ProjectApism.org/Seeds-For-Bees, or apply to enroll here.
Flagstone Foods Announces Intent To Source 100% Of Its Almonds From Bee-Friendly Farms By 2025: A First In The Private Label Nut Industry
For any beekeeper, queen breeding could be considered leveling up!-it involves a whole new skill set that is not covered in basic beekeeping practices. There is an entire industry within beekeeping that focuses on producing quality queen bees, we got a sneak peek into the methods for producing Hilo queens this season.
With Hilo queens the focus is on keeping varroa resistant traits while also selecting other qualities that beekeepers want in a commercial operation, such as honey production.
Here Saira Mendez Urbina is using a magnifying glass to find and carefully graft eggs into queen cups. She places a newly hatched worker larvae inside the queen cup, then queenless bees will feed the larvae royal jelly and draw out the rest of the queen cell. (pictured right)
Another preparation for inseminated queen production is to catch drones and harvest the sperm. Drones are too large to pass through a queen excluder, so by placing one in front of the entrance the drones returning from a flight are stalled, and can be caught and taken to the lab. Drones do not sting and are easy to grab by hand! The first photo shows Bob Danka catching drones this way. Another tool, a drone catching cage, also allows you to capture drones. Just like with mating in the wild, this is a one-way trip for these drones.
Once in the lab, the drone's sperm is carefully collected. When the queens emerge from the cells, virgin queens will be carefully inseminated using sperm collected from drones (previously caught in the apiary). The middle photo shows Juliane Steckel in the middle of this process, and the last photo is a screen shot from a short video demonstrating insemination of an earlier batch of Hilo bees.
After insemination, each queen is carefully marked and placed into a cage for banking until they are ready to be introduced into a nucleus colony.
Finally the inseminated queens are installed into nucs-together they will become a new full-size colony of known pedigree as she lays more eggs and their population grows. To learn more, check out the Hilo bees website!