Honey Bee Health, Education and Integrated Pest Management Project. A collaboration between the Colorado Department of Agriculture, CSU Department of Agriculture Sciences, and CSU Extension.
Colorado State University Research and Extension and the Colorado Department of Agriculture have been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to educate hobby beekeepers new to the field of honey bee husbandry and to monitor honey bee health. Beekeeping is akin to raising livestock and the commitment to become a beekeeper is often misunderstood.
Maintaining healthy bee populations has been challenging for a variety of reasons including communicable diseases that bees are contracting, mite infestations, lack of forage and misuse of pesticides. Although beekeeping as a profession is important and necessary there are no established, State sponsored, scientific training programs for students interested in this profession or hobby in Colorado. As the premier State Agricultural University and the State’s only Agricultural Regulatory Agency, CSU and CDA did not have a program that can raise awareness, recruit, train and retain future generations of beekeepers. The receipt of this award for research and extension will help CSU and CDA work to preserve the beekeeping profession and protect the health of all pollinator populations in Colorado.
Colorado is home to 946 native bee species belonging to 66 genera. On the other hand, Colorado has 3 of the fastest growing cities according to Forbes 2016 report. This rate of growth is related to a rapidly developing technology sector, along with which comes rapid urbanization and loss of natural areas with valuable forage and nesting resources for bees. Citizens of Colorado, being ahead of their times, are proactively developing policies, wherein cities and counties promote and conserve these diminishing natural areas and advocate for hobby bee hives in urban back yards. Preliminary indications are that new beekeepers who do not receive instruction and mentoring from beekeeping clubs or other experts are more likely to have hives that carry diseases and other health issues that spillover to other honey bees and native bees.
The goal of the project is to educate new beekeepers and decrease disease and parasite presence in apiaries managed by hobby beekeepers across Colorado by encouraging them to monitor, increase their ability to recognize honey bee pests and diseases and to adopt integrated pest management practices to keep these pests and diseases under control.
Integrated Crop Pollination Project (national research)
How can we help bees and ensure that farmers continue to get consistent, reliable pollination? A new video produced by the Integrated Crop Pollination Project reviews recent research on one solution: adding wildflowers to field edges. Planting flowers, especially before and after crops bloom, is a key way in which farmers can ensure their crop pollinators stay healthy through the season and produce abundant offspring for the next year.
To learn more, visit the Integrated Crop Pollination Project website and watch The Benefits of Planting Flowers for Bees video!
The following video: An Inside Look at Pollination Research, focuses on pollinators and the crops they pollinate.
Pollinator research at CSU