I have been fascinated by the cellular and molecular aspects of disease since my first biology class in high school. For most folks with that type of interest the obvious path is to study human disease with the goal of finding new therapies and diagnostic tools. So, I pursued a PhD in biomedical sciences and was trained in uncovering the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying diseases of the blood and cancer in humans. By the time I was doing my post-doctoral work, I had a growing interest in the food system and the organisms that are part of it. After taking a beekeeping class in 2009, I became captivated by honey bees with their critical role in pollination in both natural and agricultural ecosystems and decided to apply my biomedical training towards developing approaches to help protect honey bee health. Since that fateful decision, it has been quite a journey with a steep learning curve and lots of ups and downs. The support I have gotten from Project Apis m. (PAm) has been instrumental in helping me to move from a beginner to making potentially important contributions in the field of honey bee health.
Salt Lake City, Utah-August 22nd 2022.
Managed honey bees in North America continue to be under increasing pressure to meet pollination demands for our food supply. At the same time, annual colony losses are increasing- 48.2% in the US in 2022, 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 2022 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 126 million pounds, down 1% from 2021 .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, Project Apis m. (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.