National Resources

Project Apis m (PAm)

Question: What group does more work to benefit beekeepers than any other national group right now?   Answer:  Project Apis m (PAm). They work with commercial beekeepers and growers to provide healthier bees resulting in better pollination and increased crop yields.  They fund research studies.  They purchase equipment for bee labs.  They provide scholarships to young bee scientists.  They fund many other worthwhile causes.  Check them out for yourself.

USDA Beltsville Bee Lab – Beltsville, Maryland

The USDA Beltsville Bee Lab is located in Beltsville, Maryland and is the main USDA Research facility for Honey bees in the U.S. It’s mission is to conduct research into the biology and control of honey bee parasites, diseases and pests to ensure an adequate and viable supply for pollination and honey production.  Using biological, molecular chemical and non-chemical procedures, USDA scientists are developing new and cost-effective strategies for controlling parasitic mites (Varroa, Tracheal), bacterial diseases (American, European Foulbrood), fungal infections (Nosema apis, ceranae) and pests such as Small Hive Beetle and Wax Moths. The Beltsville research staff are also available to any beekeeper in the U.S. (and worldwide) as well as to State and Federal regulatory agencies to provide authoritative diagnosis and evaluation of all sorts of honey bee diseases and problems.  Learn how to Send Samples to Beltsville Bee Lab.

USDA Carl Hayden Bee Research Center – Tucson, Arizona

The USDA Carl Hayden Bee Research Center performs many of the functions of the Beltsville Bee Research Facility, but focuses more on the study and control measures for Africanized bees and honey bee issues related more to the geographical regions of the American Southwest.  The Carl Hayden Facility staff will perform diagnostic tests for beekeepers suspecting various disease problems.

USDA Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, Physiology Laboratory – Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The USDA Baton Rouge Bee Lab, as the title suggests, is concerned primarily with breeding and genetic issues regarding honey bees.  The development of Suppressed Mite Reproduction (SMR) and Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) traits were all developed at the Baton Rouge lab. The introduction of the Buckfast strain into the U.S. was through the quarantine facilities there. Development and promotion of the so-called Russian strain were also done through the Baton Rouge facility.

American Beekeeping Federation (ABF)

The American Beekeeping Federation is a national organization that was established in 1943 and now has over 1,200 members. The ABF sponsors several programs related to the beekeeping community and industry in the U.S;  States Delegates Assembly, Commercial Beekeepers SIG, Package Bee & Queen Breeders SIG, Honey Producers-Packer SIG, and Small scale-Sideliner SIG.  The ABF also maintains a Legislative Fund to lobby congress on beekeeping issues, and operates the American Honey Queen and Honey Princess Programs to educate the general public about honey bees and honey products. It is the largest and most diverse beekeeping organization in the U.S.

American Honey Producers Association (AHPA)

The American Honey Producers Association was founded in 1968 as a spin-off from the ABF.  Currently the AHPA has over 550 members and is second only to the ABF in terms of its activities and influence in the U.S. The interest and focus of the AHPA are specific to commercial and economically related activities of beekeeping, such as honey production and processing, pollination contracting and services as well as commercial package bee and queen production. AHPA members follow market conditions and lobby for fair prices on honey, beeswax, and related products to protect domestic beekeepers who often have to compete with unfair trading practices from foreign countries. In recent years, the AHPA has been a strong supporter of honey bee research and finding successful ways of mitigating beekeeping related problems. AHPA annual meetings are industry renowned for their cutting-edge beekeeping related information.  Check out their site for further information and current industry news.

Western Apiculture Society (WAS)

The Western Apiculture Society is a non-profit, beekeeping organization founded in 1978 to educate and benefit any interested beekeepers in Western North America. The organization was established to address the interests and educational needs of beekeepers from the States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming as well as the Western Provinces of Canada.

Canadian Association of Professional Apiarists (CAPA)

The Canadian Association of Professional Apiarists consists of Canadian Federal and Provincial government employees, university professors whose work includes managed bees, and consultants who are employed in the field of apiculture or other related fields.  The purpose of CAPA is to educate and administrate in the fields of apiculture and pollination.

Bee Informed Partnership (BIP)

The Bee Informed Partnership was formed in 2011 to work with beekeepers, gather information and data and to develop methods and protocols that result in Best Management Practices (BMP’s).  BIP participants submit survey data from thousands of beekeeping operations in the U.S. each year, which then allows BIP researchers to compile and evaluate that data in order to identify those practices that result in better honey bee health.

Scientific Beekeeping

Randy Oliver is the principle force behind Scientific Beekeeping. He is known for his detailed, scientifically informed and supported information and views on beekeeping. Randy takes the sometimes unpopular position of questioning and challenging mainstream media and popular beekeeping perceptions of what’s happening with honey bees and within the beekeeping community. More often than not, his views and scientific research confirm his positions and help to further the dialogue towards better understanding and successful beekeeping methods. Any beekeeper, particularly those beginning beekeeping, will find a wealth of information and understanding from checking-out and browsing the Scientific Beekeeping website. Randy has been keeping bees for over 40 years and has academic degrees (B.S., M.S.) in biology and teaches beekeeping classes at his local community College.

FieldWatch/BeeCheck

FieldWatch is a non-profit organization administrated through Purdue University that offers on-line mapping and communication tools to connect with specialty producers, ]commodity farmers and beekeepers with, commercial and private applicators. Currently, the States of Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Saskatchewan, Canada are all participating members of FieldWatch and BeeCheck.  The more states and participants involved with the program, the more effective it becomes. Some beekeepers and applicators, have expressed reluctance to participate in the FieldWatch/BeeCheck programs, perhaps due to old and/or lingering mistrust between these two segments of the agricultural community. However, in today’s world of connectivity and instantaneous communications, these technologies can and should help facilitate communication and understanding, as the FieldWatch/BeeCheck programs were designed to do, rather than perpetuating old and conspiratorial mind-sets about how various stakeholders “may” behave. Communication between all stakeholders is key, but as numbers of participants grow, the sense of participation and cooperation can also grow.  Become a registered member of FieldWatch and/or BeeCheck today!

IPM Voice

IPM Voice is a new, independent nonprofit corporation working to increase IPM adoption, awareness and support. Their mission is to advocate for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that is genuinely progressive and seeks continuous improvement of environmental, social and economic conditions through application of accepted scientific principles.

BEE-L Listserve

The BEE-L listserv is a forum used to discuss the latest information pertaining to keeping bees.  It has regular posts by commercial beekeepers, authors and academics like Medhat Nasr, Peter Loring Borst, Randy Oliver, Jerry Bromenshenk and many others.  This online community of professional beekeepers does not put up with any nonsense and they will question anyone out who posts anything illegitimate.

University of Montana Online Beekeeping Certificate Program

The University of Montana offers online beekeeping certifications for Apprentice, Journeyman and Master Beekeepers.  These university level courses set the standard for practical and science based beekeeping courses.  Using online  discussion forums provides daily interaction between the students and instructors.  All levels of beekeepers (including commercial beekeepers) from all over the United States (and outside the country) have benefited from them.  The Colorado Professional Beekeeping Association, along with Project Apis m and the American Honey Producers Association endorses the University of Montana Beekeeping Certificate Program.

Colorado Resources

Free Handbook: Integrated Hive Management for Colorado Beekeepers

Written specifically for Colorado beekeepers by Colorado State University Extension and released in 2015, the publication, Integrated Hive Management for Colorado Beekeepers, provides detailed descriptions of honey bee diseases, pests and mitigation procedures as well as explaining hive management practices that are specific to Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region in general.  The Guide includes a disease and pest monitoring calendar, an IHM (IPM) mitigation pyramid graph and explains the underlying principles behind good IHM practices.  In addition to the online version, you may obtain free printed copies by contacting Thia Walker, CSU Extension Specialist for Pesticide Safety. (see Thia’s contact info below).

Colorado State Apiculturist

The Colorado State Bee Inspection program was discontinued in 1986, however, beekeepers here may contact the current Colorado Director of Plant Industry at the Colorado Department of Agriculture who oversees bee inspections coming into and through Colorado and has general information regarding bee issues in the State.

Contact info:

Mitchell Yergert, Director, Division of Plant Industry
Colorado Department of Agriculture
305 Interlocken Parkway, Broomfield, CO 80021

Phone: (303) 869-9052
Email: Mitchell.yergert@state.co.us

CDA Pesticide Application Management

John Scott is the Chief Program Manager for pesticide applications and regulation in Colorado.  He works in close cooperation with Mitch Yergert (above) and is a beekeeper himself. John was also instrumental in establishing the Pollinator Work Group for Colorado as well as implementing FieldWatch for Colorado.  John is keenly aware of honey bee – pesticide issues and is always open to dealing with any concerns or problems that beekeepers may have in this regard.

Contact info:

John Scott, Chief, Pesticides Program Manager
Colorado Department of Agriculture
305 Interlocken Parkway, Broomfield, CO 80021

Phone: (303) 869-9056
Email: johnw.scott@state.co.us

Colorado State University Extension Specialist – Pesticide Safety Education

Thia Walker is the educational representative in Colorado who studies, researches and disseminates information relating to pesticide use and regulations in Colorado.  She works in close cooperation with CSU personnel in Biology, Entomology, Toxicology and Field Sciences. She additionally works closely with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the EPA, USDA and local Colorado municipalities pertaining to pesticide safety issues. She is the general editor for the Integrated Hive Management guide and is keenly aware of beekeeping – pesticide impact issues. Thia is responsible for Pesticide Safety Education, Pesticide Applicator Certification Courses and EPA-certified training for Worker Protection Standards.

Contact info:

Thia Walker, Extension Specialist – Pesticide Safety Education
Colorado State University
1177 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1177

Phone: (970) 491-6027
Email: thia.walker@colostate.edu