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.