Responding to an S.O.S. from the Commercial Beekeeping Industry

Webinar featuring:

Marla Spivak, University of Minnesota
Tuesday April 22, 2014
12 pm (CT) / 1 pm (ET)

Photo credit: Singeli Agnew

To register for this FREE upcoming webinar go to:

This FREE webinar series is sponsored by:
North Central Regional Center for Rural
Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture
446 W. Circle Drive, Room 66
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 355-3373

Given the chronic health problems facing honey bees and the increasing demand for pollination
services from almond, blueberry, cranberry, apple, vine crops and many other growers,
commercial beekeepers and breeders have requested assistance in maintaining healthy
colonies. To this end, we began a novel “Bee Tech Transfer Team” program through the Bee
Informed Partnership, a 5-year grant funded by USDA-NIFA. These teams consist of
independent beekeepers that provide on-the-ground services to commercial beekeepers to
assess and record colony health information; survey beekeepers about management; test for
bee diseases and parasites; and assist in breeding bees that are more resistant to diseases and
parasites. There is demand for this program nationwide and we are exploring ways to ensure
that the Tech Team services are economically sustainable after the funding ends in 2016. As
bees are directly or indirectly responsible for 35% of our diet through their pollination services, it
is critical to increase effort to keep bees healthy and to provide hands-on assistance to the
beleaguered beekeeping industry throughout the U.S.