APHIS National Honey Bee Survey Message

APHIS National Honey Bee Survey     October 31, 2016

Dear Los Angeles County Beekeeper Association,

My name is Shayne Madella and I am the project coordinator for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) National Honey Bee Disease Survey. We are planning to take samples in the Southern California region in late November/early December and we are looking for new beekeeper participants in the region who are willing to volunteer to have samples taken. The APHIS NHBS is a national survey of honey bee pests and diseases that has been funded annually since 2009 by the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and conducted in collaboration with the University of Maryland, USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and State Apiary Specialists. This national survey is being conducted in an attempt to document which bee diseases, parasites, or pests of honey bees are present and/or likely absent in the U.S. Specifically, this survey will attempt to verify the absence of the parasitic mite Tropilaelaps and other exotic threats to honey bee populations (e.g., Apis cerana and slow bee paralysis virus). To maximize the information gained from this survey effort, collected samples will be analyzed for other honey bee diseases and parasites known to be present in the U.S.

Additionally, funding is provided for this survey year for states to collect ~3 grams of pollen from brood frames that will be tested for >170 known pesticides. This pollen will be collected from the same composite 8 colonies undergoing the standard survey sampling and sent to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) in Gastonia, NC for analysis. Each state is asked to send in composite samples of pollen from 10 of the 24 apiaries this year.

This cross-country survey continues to be the most comprehensive honey bee pest and health survey to date, and provides essential disease and pest load base line information. This information will help place current and future epidemiological studies in context and thus may indirectly help investigations of emerging conditions. The University of Maryland (UMD) is coordinating this survey in collaboration with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Bee Research Lab (BRL) and APHIS.

The only requirement for the beekeeper is that they must have at least ten colonies in their apiary. Eight colonies will be sampled with an extra two in reserve if some colonies are not suitable for sampling. The beekeeper does not need to be on the property during sample besides letting the researchers into the apiary but we do enjoy the company.

For further information on the survey please consult the APHIS webpage on the survey below:


If you have any questions on this please contact me at my provided email address or at my cell phone number:

(240) 437-2874

Thank you,

Shayne Madella Faculty Research Assistant Bee Informed Partnership Department of Entomology 4112 Plant Science Building University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742 (240) 437-2874