As I get close to finishing my dissertation, I am reflecting on the way that the PAm-Costco Scholar Fellowship has helped me to take my interest in honey bee foraging behavior and apply it to helping beekeepers and land managers who want to support honey bees.
I started studying bees a few years after increased colony mortality had drawn international public attention and concern. Research since that time has highlighted four major stressors that contribute to high mortality: parasites, pathogens, pesticides, and poor nutrition. Good nutrition is not only essential to day-to-day activities of bees, but it also helps colonies deal with the other stressors. Finding apiary spots that lead to good colony nutrition is challenging because honey bee colonies have a very wide foraging range, in some cases traveling over 8 miles to collect food. If we consider that most foraging happens within 2 miles of a hive, that’s still over 8,000 acres that foragers are covering to find rewarding flowers.
Blue Diamond Growers has been a long-time supporter of Project Apis m. (PAm). ) Since 2014, Blue Diamond Growers has supported select research projects and partnered with PAm to help educate growers and build positive grower and beekeeper communications.
With almond bloom upon us it’s important to remember how regular orchard management tasks can affect honey bees. The following are some Best Management Practices that should be considered for bees pollinating almonds. The honey bee is a small creature, and attention to the small details regarding their health and safety have a significant impact on their ability to pollinate effectively.
For the second year in a row, Western Monarch counts are below 30,000 according to a recently released count by the Xerces Society. The past two years have shown a sharp decrease in Western Monarch populations since 1997. Declines are thought to be due to a combination of factors including loss of overwintering sites, climate change, and a decline in biodiversity and forage availability.