Project Apis m. (PAm) is dedicated to bee research and forage. We don’t have a lot of money. We work hard to make the most of donations and opportunities from great companies and groups like National Honey Board, who now entrusts their bee research assessment budget to Project Apis m. We are grateful for the trust bestowed upon Project Apis m. and we work hard to keep it.
The past thirty years in beekeeping, globally, have been tumultuous. A number of trends continue – making this a fascinating time to be in beekeeping. Across the planet, people live longer, enjoy better health, have more access to better food than any time in history. As diets improve, demand for insect-pollinated food grows.
Beginning in the 80’s, beekeepers experienced a breathtaking change from honey producers who did a little pollination work to pollination experts who do a little honey production on the side. In 2017; over 700,000 beehives will crowd into North Dakota and produce about 50 pounds of harvestable honey per hive – for a total of about 35 million pounds – keeping North Dakota secure as the #1 honey producing state in the nation. Ask large commercial operators the primary purpose of being in North Dakota…they won’t say honey- they will tell you its to prepare for the rigors of 2018 pollination season. The income earned from 700,000 hives in the almonds dwarfs the income from 35 million pounds of honey.
How does Project Apis m. fit into the well-being of American beekeeping? We fund research to improve hive health. We support the Bee Informed Partnership project and the work they do documenting hive health. PAm makes a difference in cover crop decisions growers make to improve the health of the soil and water penetration in orchards, and of course, also to improve nutrition for the bees pollinating the crops. Big Ag is moving into forage as a productivity tool. PAm has an important role to fill in forage and productivity.
We have a lot more to do. We have great opportunities on the horizon. We are in the prime position to work with other groups promoting hive health and forage efforts. It takes money and collaboration. It would be great to see breakthroughs in Varroa control, to see annual losses reduced, and to see American honey production back above 250 million pounds per year. When these things happen, PAm will be involved.
Board Member, Project Apis m.