December 2016
PAm monthly news & updates
Danielle's Discourse

Traynor's Method to Make Donating Painless 

Project Apis m. formed 10 years ago at the interface of almond growers and beekeepers who wanted to fast track scientific answers to their most pressing questions. Those early days relied on committed founders who believed in the value of research so much they donated ‘a buck a hive’ to support PAm projects that needed doing... research by and for beekeepers and growers. The donors of PAm have changed a lot since then (keep your eye out for an article about where PAm’s funding comes from and what’s been done with it). But one of those founders has been unwavering in his commitment: Joe Traynor was an original board member and to this day his company, Scientific Ag Co., is a reliable PAm donor. 

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One of PAm's original board members and long-time supporter, Joe Traynor

Danielle Downey
Executive Director
The BIP Box

Getting ready for the season

After working through samples even in December, we look forward to a short window of time where we prepare for the upcoming almond season, reflect about what we’ve done in the past year, and strategize how we want to move forward. It has been a busy and exciting year for the Bee Informed Partnership and we are learning and maturing as an organization. There is still much we want to do but having some quiet time to just think is refreshing. We are excited to gather at the American Beekeeping Conference in Galveston and spend a few days face to face with all our technical transfer teams and debrief from this hectic year. It is rare, happening only twice a year, that we get to meet all in one room so it is a bit like the holidays all over again.  

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Photo by Rob Snyder, courtesy of the Bee Informed Partnership.

We thank our recent supporters!
AI Root Company
Veronica Swarens
Allison Staley
Laurel Przybylski
Wella Bar & Lockhart Fine Foods
St. Croix Beekeepers
Andrew Dewey
Scientific Ag. Co.
Bayer Crop Science

Nicholas Troughton
Sharon Stretz
Andrea Hurlbert
East Fork Partners
Heitkam's Honey Bees
Cynthia Browning
John Paton, Inc.
Strachan Apiaries
DaNeibrc Land & Dev. Co.

Billy's Blog

This time of year we often get together with friends and family to enjoy each other’s company.  Despite a few differences that might cause conflict, families and communities support each other based on their shared values. I have seen enough dead hives, sick bees, and destroyed habitat to give me pause about the future health of our nation’s pollinators. However, the concerted effort, passion, and team work of everyone I collaborate with gives me hope that we can change bee health for the better. 

Beekeepers, growers, landowners, pheasant hunters, bird watchers, conservationists, monarch butterfly advocates, native bee advocates, universities, non-profits, government organizations, land trusts, trade associations, seed companies, PCA’s, and all the industries that support agriculture believe bee health is an issue everyone needs to be responsible for. All these groups are working towards the same goal. How awesome!  

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Billy Synk                                                      Director of Pollination Programs
Word From Wardell

The Holiday Season is a joyous time of year and yet a nervous time of year for beekeepers. This is the season when all of the efforts since the summer are realized. If not managed correctly earlier in the fall, colonies will begin crashing this time of year for a number of reasons making the Holidays less than festive. Wintering success starts in late summer. The most obvious challenge is mite control. If mites go unchecked too far into the fall the bees that make up your winter cluster are compromised. The bees’ life expectancy will have been shortened by Varroa mites and the viruses they vector; reducing a bee’s potential life by as much as half. Summer bees have a life expectancy of approximately 6 weeks. They literally work themselves to death, but healthy bees destined for the winter cluster are different.  A winter bee’s life expectancy can be as great as four to five months. You can see why mite management in the fall is so critical. 

Shortening a winter bee’s life expectancy by half would predict its demise in December instead of February or March. Early loss of population will make the colony susceptible to chill and even starvation because they can’t move to the food when temperatures drop.  

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Gordon Wardell
Chairman, Project Apis m. 

Project Apis m. is a 501 (c) (5) non-profit organization.