Healthy Hives 2020 USA, a multi-year, $1 million research initiative launched in 2015, brings together some of the country’s leading bee health experts and stakeholders to find measurable and tangible solutions for improving the health of US honey bee colonies by the end of 2020. In a kick-off workshop, the experts and stakeholders 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 honey bee colony health during commercial migratory operations; and
- Assessing honey bee genetics for traits that are relevant to colony resistance to pests and diseases, as well as pollination efficiency and honey production in the USA.
This year’s Healthy Hives 2020 grant recipients are undertaking innovative research efforts that have the potential to make an immediate impact on honey bee colony health:
- Dr. Olav Rueppell, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who will investigate virus content and resistance in several currently available honey bees;
- Dr. 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 losses; and
- 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.
These three grant awards take the total bee research efforts funded by Healthy Hives 2020 to ten.
Learn more about these new grants or find out about the Healthy Hives 2020 USA program.