May 4, 2017Three new honeybee health research projects get funding
Three new research proposals submitted by Bayer and Project Apis m. have received grants from Healthy Hives 2020, a $1 million research effort to improve the health of honeybee colonies in the U.S. by the end of 2020.
The grant recipients include:
- Olav Rueppell, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who will investigate virus content and resistance in several currently available honeybees
- Edmund Stark, Michigan State University, who will aim to develop a commercially viable, cost-effective product to control the varroa mite, considered by many to be the major cause of honey bee colony decline
- Julie Shapiro, Keystone Policy Center, who submitted a proposal on behalf of the Honey Bee Health Coalition and will conduct the Bee Integrated Demonstration Project to showcase best management practices that help to reduce honey bee colony loss.
“This year’s Healthy Hives 2020 grant recipients are undertaking innovative research efforts that have the potential to make an immediate impact on honeybee colony health,” said Danielle Downey, executive director of Project Apis m. and Healthy Hives 2020 program manager. “With these projects, Healthy Hives 2020 has funded 10 honey bee research efforts.”
The Healthy Hives 2020 initiative was launched in 2015 with a two-day workshop that brought together bee health experts and stakeholders at the Bayer North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle, North Carolina. The 17 summit workshop attendees identified a wide range of bee health concerns, which were later reviewed by the Healthy Hives 2020 Steering Committee and prioritized into the most promising areas of research.
The program is focused on four major research objectives:
- Conducting an economic assessment of the “true” cost of commercial beekeeping operations to help beekeepers maximize efficiency and production
- Creating a set of best management practices for commercial beekeeping based on definitive colony health performance data
- Evaluating the use of “smart hive” technology to monitor honeybee colony health during commercial migratory operations
- Assessing honeybee genetics for traits that are relevant to colony resistance to pests and diseases, as well as pollination efficiency and honey production in the U.S.
For more information on Bayer’s bee health programs, visit www.beehealth.bayer.us.