By: Dr. Kaira Wagoner, Researcher at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and former PAm-Costco Scholar
My lab may be on the verge of a huge breakthrough – use of brood pheromones to enable precise and rapid selection of Varroa and disease resistant bees - and Project Apis m. (PAm) provided support critical to this success. It started with a Ph.D. project related to hygiene communication. At the time, the focus of the research community seemed to be on hygienic adults – their superior sense of smell and how this enhanced perception was modulated in the honey bee brain. But what exactly was it they were smelling? We decided to find out.
By: Gene Brandi, of Gene Brandi Apiaries, and founding Board Member of Project Apis m.
I remember it well when Christi Heintz and Dan Cummings approached me with the idea of establishing a nonprofit organization which could fund honey bee research. This was in 2006 at the Windmill Inn Hotel, Tucson, Arizona where we were meeting with scientists from the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center. I thought establishing such an organization was a great idea which was sorely needed given all the problems with which beekeepers were dealing and I agreed to become a member of the Board of this new organization which would be known as Project Apis m.
New Research at Project Apis m.
Project by project, PAm helps address the bee health questions of today while helping beekeepers prepare for the future. Across the U.S. and Canada, recently funded projects are beginning on topics ranging from Varroa and viral diseases to drought-tolerant bee forage.
By: Karen Rennich, founding Executive Director of BIP, current UMD Program Manager, and Anne Marie Fauvel, BIP Technical Transfer Team Coordinator
In January 2011, two remarkable partnerships were born. The USDA approved grant funding for what would become the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) and so began a frantic year assembling the team across 8 universities, launching our first Loss and Management survey, and talking to many commercial beekeepers about the services they needed. Since we would not be formally recognized as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit until 2014, we asked Project Apis m., just a fledgling nonprofit herself but akin to our big sister, to purchase the BIP website domain name (BeeInformed.org, the same one we still use) and to initially host the website before it even went live. Later that year, PAm generously agreed to serve as our first fiscal sponsor - a very crucial step along the path for a rookie non-profit. Then, and now, we have always considered PAm as a sister organization and they have encouraged us, supported us, and been pivotal in our collaborative efforts.
Update: This position has been filled.
Project Apis m. is seeking a Development 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!
Honey bees help ensure the supply of diverse and affordable food such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts, through essential pollination services. Project Apis m. (PAm) is the go-to organization at the interface of research, honey bees, and agriculture. Since 2006, we have funded over $10 million of honey bee research and $2.9 million in forage programs, resulting in science-driven resources for bees and beekeepers. We fund projects and direct strategic efforts focused on practical questions. PAm offers graduate scholarships to develop the next generation of bee scientists and puts forage on the landscape where bees need it most through our Seeds for Bees program. We are a 501(c)5 nonprofit organization operating remotely. We are proud to be collaborative, practical, accountable, efficient, and flexible. www.ProjectApism.org
PAm in the News-Summer 2022
Below are a few highlights from a summer that included exciting research updates, special features in the media, unique fundraisers, and more!
Salt Lake City, Utah-August 25th 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 high- 39% in the US in 2021, 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 2021 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 126 million pounds, down 14% from 2020. 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.
The funding sponsor for these proposals is the National Honey Board (NHB), with Project Apis m. (PAm) administering the proposal, funding process, and accountability. PAm administers several other initiatives with funding from many sources, including corporate sponsors, private donations, and grants. Past proposals received and funded by PAm and NHB reflect a similar focus on supporting the industry.
The National Honey Board is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing, and promotional programs. Project Apis m. is the largest non- governmental, nonprofit honey bee research organization in the USA. Established by beekeepers and almond growers in 2006, PAm has infused over $10 million into bee research to provide beekeepers with healthier bees resulting in better pollination and increased crop yields.
Read or download the full RFP, including funding priority areas, and application instructions here.
This summer, Project Apis m. accepted applications for the PAm-Costco Canada Scholarship Awards for Honey Bee Health. These scholarships are for PhD students tackling research that has real and practical impacts on the sustainability of honey bee health, honey production and crop production.
Investing in applied research remains a high priority across North America as annual losses continue to squeeze beekeeping operations in the states, and as beekeepers in Canada are currently recovering from exceptionally high losses from the 2021-22 winter.
We are excited to announce the two newest awardees of this scholarship: Ana María Quiroga Arcila, and Tracey Smith, and warmly welcome them to the PAmily!
If you’ve never tried to cover crop, it can seem a little daunting, but it shouldn’t be. In this article we will go over a few helpful tips and tricks to help growers begin the cover crop journey or even assist seasoned cover croppers in honing their skills.
Cover cropping is essentially adding a new tool to your orchard toolbox. Like any tool, there are a few suggestions that can help with implementation and success. Be patient as you begin the journey, knowing that you will probably make some mistakes along the way. The cover crop tool can be an effective one for many underlying issues growers face in their orchards, but it’s not a silver bullet and it has to be managed well.
By: Dr. Kelly Kulhanek and Dr. Brandon Hopkins
In the Imperial Valley of Southern California, the average high temperature in July is 107°F. This region of desert stretches south from the Salton Sea all the way down to Mexico. The highest temperature every recorded in the Valley was 121°F, only 13 degrees shy of the world record recorded in nearby Death Valley, CA. Despite these conditions, the Valley is home to several commercial beekeepers keeping thousands of colonies in the Valley during summer. One family, the Ashurst’s, has dominated beekeeping in the area for generations. The Valley’s winters are mild which provides good conditions for wintering colonies outdoors. The summers, however, are tough and require special considerations for bees. Some of these methods are relatively simple, like providing shade for every apiary. More recently, novel use of cold storage facilities have offered both bees and workers a respite from the heat. We spoke with Bryan Ashurst of Ashurst Bee Company about how he uses his cold storage facility in July and August to help his bees beat the heat. .... Read More
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PO Box 26793
Salt Lake City, UT 84126