University of California to Measure Economic Impact of Honey Industry

Project Apis m.     May 17, 2018

Industry can promote its economic contributions – but only if beekeepers, importers, packers and processors participate in study.

FREDERICK, Colo. (May 16, 2018) – From beekeepers and honey importers to packers and processors, the honey industry plays a unique and vital role in the U.S. economy.  To illustrate the industry’s true impact, the University of California is asking business owners to complete a short survey. The questionnaire will measure the economic impact of all aspects of the honey industry by calculating the number of jobs the industry creates and its total economic activity.   

The questionnaire’s data will be used to create a final report that showcases the role of the honey industry in the broader U.S. economy as well as its impact on regional economies throughout the country.

To accurately assess this large and varied industry, the University of California is looking to the businesses that make up the honey industry to take part in the questionnaire. The information will be entirely confidential, with the survey conducted online through a secure form without personally-identifiable information. Participants have until Friday, June 15, 2018 to complete the survey.

“The University of California Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis is committed to helping agricultural organizations better understand their economic impact,” said Project Scientist Dr. Bill Matthews. “We’re looking forward to quantifying the honey industry’s important role within the U.S. economy.”

To participate in the U.S. Honey Industry Impact Questionnaire, please visit the US Honey Economic Impact Survey before June 15, 2018.

“The honey industry makes significant contributions to the US economy,” said Margaret Lombard, CEO of the National Honey Board. “Finally being able to quantify our impact the way other industries have will allow us to generate goodwill for our industry’s many contributions.”

To learn more about the University of California Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis, please visit For more information on the National Honey Board, please visit

About National Honey Board
The National Honey Board (NHB) is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing and promotional programs. The Board’s work, funded by an assessment on domestic and imported honey, is designed to increase the awareness and usage of honey by consumers, the foodservice industry and food manufacturers. The ten-member-Board, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, represents producers (beekeepers), packers, importers and a marketing cooperative. For more information, visit

About University of California Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis
The University of California Agricultural Issues Center (AIC) was established in 1985 to research and analyze crucial trends and policy issues affecting agriculture and interlinked natural and human resources in California and the West. The Center, which consists of a director, several associate directors, a small professional staff and an Advisory Board, provides independent and objective research-based information on a range of critical, emerging agricultural issues such as food and agricultural commodity markets, the value of agricultural research and development, farm costs and returns, consequences of food and agricultural policy and rural resources and the environment. The audience for AIC research and outreach includes decision makers in industry, non-governmental organizations and governments as well as scholars, journalists, students and the general public.
Jessica Schindler:, (303) 776-2337

Honey Bee Genetics Sheds Light on Bee Origins

Science Daily    Source: University of California - Davis    February 17, 2017

Where do honey bees come from? A new study from researchers at the University of California, Davis and UC Berkeley clears some of the fog around honey bee origins. The work could be useful in breeding bees resistant to disease or pesticides.

UC Davis postdoctoral researcher Julie Cridland is working with Santiago Ramirez, assistant professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis, and Neil Tsutsui, professor of environmental science, policy and management at UC Berkeley, to understand the population structure of honey bees (Apis mellifera) in California. Pollination by honey bees is essential to major California crops, such as almonds. Across the U.S., the value of "pollination services" from bees has been estimated as high as $14 billion.

"We're trying to understand how California honey bee populations have changed over time, which of course has implications for agriculture," Ramirez said.

To understand California bees, the researchers realized that they first needed to better understand honey bee populations in their native range in the Old World.

"We kind of fell into this project a little bit by accident," Cridland said. "Initially we were looking at the data as a preliminary to other analyses, and we noticed some patterns that weren't previously in the literature."

The new study combines two large existing databases to provide the most comprehensive sampling yet of honey bees in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Unrelated Bee Lineages in Close Proximity

Previously, researchers had assumed an origin for honey bees in north-east Africa or the Middle East. But the situation turns out to be more complicated than that, Cridland said.

"You might think that bees that are geographically close are also genetically related, but we found a number of divergent lineages across north-east Africa and the Middle East," she said.

There are two major lineages of honey bees in Europe -- C, "Central European," including Italy and Austria and M, including Western European populations from Spain to Norway -- which give rise to most of the honey bees used in apiculture worldwide. But although C and M lineage bees exist side by side in Europe and can easily hybridize, they are genetically distinct and arrived in different parts of the world at different times.

M lineage bees were the first to be brought to north America, in 1622. The more docile C lineage bees came later, and today many California bees are from the C lineage, but there is still a huge amount of genetic diversity, Ramirez said.

"You can't understand the relationships among bee populations in California without understanding the populations they come from," Cridland said.

In the Middle East, the O lineage hails from Turkey and Jordan, and Y from Saudia Arabia and Yemen. The main African lineage is designated A.

At this point, the researchers cannot identify a single point of origin for honey bees, but the new work does clear up some confusion from earlier studies, they said. In some cases, diverged lineages that happen to be close to each other have mixed again. Previous, more limited studies have sampled those secondarily mixed populations, giving confusing results.

"We're not making any strong claim about knowing the precise origin," Cridland said. "What we're trying to do is talk about a scientific problem, disentangling these relationships between lineages, the genetic relationships from the geography."

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Julie M. Cridland, Neil D. Tsutsui, Santiago R. Ramírez. The complex demographic history and evolutionary origin of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Genome Biology and Evolution, 2017; DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evx009

Bee-ing a Part of the Solution

Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World   By Kathy Keatley Garvey    May 7, 2014

This is a story about a third-grade classroom in Galt, Calif., that loves honey bees. 

It's also a story about a beekeeper named Brian Fishback of Wilton who eagerly taught them to love bees.

Fishback, a former volunteer at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at the University of California, Davis, and a past president of the Sacramento Area Beekeepers' Association, delights in teaching beekeeping classes and providing bee presentations at schools and public events.

One such recipient: Beth Bartkowski's third graders at Galt's Lake Canyon Elementary School.

“My class (Room 12) has been learning about honey bees since October,” she said. “We have turned our classroom into a ‘Beetopia.' We have done many fabulous activities. Thanks to Brian, we have a hive on campus right now! I am hoping to...


Visit the Kathy Keatley Garvey Bug Squad blog at:


CSBA Convention Nov. 12-15, 2012 (Wednesday, Nov. 14 Schedule)

CSBA Convention Wednesday, Nov. 14:
7:00am American Sioux Honey Association Breakfast
8:00am Registration & Exhibits Open 

Main Session Schedule
Introductions by Brad Pankratz
8:00am Importation of Honey Bee Germplasm in 2012 - Steve Sheppard, WSU
8:45am Germplasm Cryopreservation & Progress in Above Freezing Storage of Bee Semen - Brandon Hopkins, WSU
9:00am ABF Update - George Hansen, ABF President
9:15am Project Apis m. Update - Christi Heintz
9:45am Exhibitors Break - Sponsored by Haagan Dazs, Bees Free 

Introductions by Brock Ashurst
10:15am Winter Feeding in Preparation for Almond Pollination - Frank Eischen, USDA ARS Bee Research Lab, Welasco, TX
11:00am Almond Industry Update - Bob Curtis, Almond Board of California
11:15am AHPA Update - Randy Verhoek, AHPA Vice President, Bismark, ND
11:30am Legislative Update - Holly Fraumeni, Platinum Advisors & Jackie Park-Burris
12:45pm Research Luncheon "Beekeeping in a Flat World - How to Catch Your Neighbor's Cold"
               -Jeff Pettis, USDA  ARS Honey Bee Laboratory, Beltsville, MD
3:00pm  Auction Benefiting Honey Bee Research
7:00pm  Resolution Committee Meeting chaired by Roger Everett
7:30pm  Research Commitee Meeting chaired by David Bradshaw 

Concurrent Sessions: - "Bridging the Gap, Sideliner to Full Timer":
Introductions by Bill Lewis
8:30am Keeping Your Bees in the Hive - Eric Mussen, UC Davis
9:15am Small Scale Queen Rearing - Randy Oliver
10:45am How to Make and Install Package Bees - Richard Ashurst
11:30am Managing Your Honey Crop - Josh Cowen