Bayer Continues to Contribute to Bee Health

Since 2016, Healthy Hives 2020 has funded 10 bee health research projects; new digital booklet details each project’s ongoing work and success

Published online: Mar 08, 2019 Articles
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Bayer and Project Apis m. announce additional funding for Healthy Hives 2020, an initiative dedicated to improving honey bee health, raising Bayer’s total investment in the program to $1.3 million. Additionally, the two organizations are releasing an educational booklet, Research for Tangible Bee-Health Solutions, to coincide with the three-year anniversary of the program’s first request for proposals.

The digital booklet features profiles of all current Healthy Hives 2020 research projects, which include:

  • Getting to the Root of a Deadly Bee Virus: Establishing the diversity of the Deformed Wing Virus strains across the USA – Stephen J. Martin, Ph.D., University of Salford, Manchester, England; Randy Oliver, commercial beekeeper, Grass Valley, Calif.
  • Giving Honey Bees a Nutritional Boost: Phytochemicals as a management tool for sustainable honey bee colony health – Arathi Seshadri, Ph.D., Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colo.
  • Keeping Track of Hive Health, Smartly: Electronic data collection and sensor integration for data aggregation, best management practices, data mining and smart hive development – Joseph Cazier, Ph.D., James Wilkes, Ph.D., and Ed Hassler, Ph.D., Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.
  • Can Old-World Bees Improve New-World Bee Performance: Comparison of U.S. honey bee genetic lines for queen production and pollination efficiency under field conditions – Steve Sheppard Ph.D., Washington State University, Pullman, Wash.
  • Data-Driven Beekeeping: Evaluation and comparison of management strategies and economics of agricultural practices in commercial beekeeping operations – Brandon Hopkins, Ph.D. Washington State University, Pullman, Wash.
  • Understanding the Bugs within the Bees: Determining how Nosema ceranae infection alters the honey bee midgut microbiome – Quinn McFrederick, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, Calif.; James Nieh, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, Calif.
  • New Ways to Fight an Old Foe: Pesticide toxicity analysis of Varroa mites – Jody Johnson, Ph.D., Cullaborate LLC, Baltimore, Md.
  • Slow and Steady Could Win the Race to Control Varroa: Optimization and scale-up of timed-release organic acids for Varroa control – Edmund Stark, Ph.D., Michigan State University St. Andrews, Midland, Mich.
  • Good Genes May Help Bees Fight Disease: Comparative characterization of virus content and resistance in genetic lines of U.S. honey bees –  Olav Rueppell, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Greensboro, N.C.
  • A Diversified Portfolio is Good for Business – and Bees: Bee integrated demonstration project – pragmatic beekeeping, forage and farming practices – Julie Shapiro, Keystone Policy Institute, Keystone, Colo.; Mike Smith, Conservation Technology Information Center, West Lafayette, Ind.

“Our combined efforts have been directly focused on identifying tangible solutions for improving honey bee colony health and the beekeeping industry by the year 2020,” said Dr. Becky Langer, project manager, Bayer North American Bee Care Program. “These 10 research projects are addressing some of beekeepers’ biggest issues and will have a direct impact on the future of hive health.” 

All grants are reviewed by a steering committee comprised of representatives from across the academic, regulatory and commercial sectors of the bee industry. The steering committee is chaired by Steve Sheppard, Ph.D., of Washington State University. Other members include:

  • Gloria Degrandi-Hoffman, Ph.D., research leader, Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, U. S. Department of Agriculture
  • Don Parker, Ph.D., manager, integrated pest management, National Cotton Council
  • Dick Rogers, principal scientist and entomologist, Bayer Bee Care Program
  • Dave Westerveldt, assistant chief, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Randy Verhook, commercial beekeeper, Harvest Honey Inc., Honey Bee Health Coalition, The Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund

Healthy Hives 2020 is one of several Project Apis m. initiatives. For more information on these programs, please visit https://www.projectapism.org/.

Healthy Hives 2020 is an initiative sponsored by Bayer’s Bee Care Program, continuing its nearly 30 years of supporting bee health. For more information on Bayer’s bee health initiatives, please visit: http://beehealth.bayer.us. You can also follow and share with us on Twitter @BayerBeeCare, on Facebook at facebook.com/BayerBeeCareCenter and view photos on Flickr.