Project Apis m. Update - June 2015

CSBA Bee Times - June 2015

PAm is pleased to announce the hiring of Billy Synk as Director of Pollination Programs for Project Apis m.  Billy comes to PAm with a wealth of experience as UC Davis' beekeeper and facility manager for the Harry H. Laidlaw Bee Research Facility.  In his new job with PAm, his responsibilities will include the 'Seeds for Bees' project, the Pheasants Forever Honey Bee and Monarch Butterfly Habitat Partnership, and helping PAm maintain a presence at state, regional and national beekeeper as well as grower meetings.  Billy not only knows bees and the beekeeping industry, he also has experience with seed companies.  Funding is in place to provide almond growers with seed again this fall, so have your grower contact Billy: Billy@projectapism.org 

The Federal Strategy for Pollinators has been released.  PAm was part of the process since the initial meeting in Washington D.C. and was mentioned twice in the final document.  PAm is poised to take full advantage of the multi-agency focus on pollinators and will work hard to use funding and focus to improve honey bee health through the opportunities that arise from the Federal Strategy.  

PAm recently approved six new studies on Varroa control.  Evidence suggests that there are several innovative compounds that warrant attention - including some spider venoms, extract from the seeds of a particular Asian flower, and oil from the seeds of an evergreen tree found in India that is already being used as a biopesticide in farming.  One study will look at cost-effective mass production of natural mite predators.  Another will identify the DNA markers associated with reducing mite loads via hygienic behaviors.  Finally, we will try to prove whether Varroa actually does feed on the hemolymph in bees, a long-time assumption that has never been adequately proven.  Look for updates on these studies and PAm's complete research program by visiting the Research Tab on www.projectapism.org.