Three New Research Proposals Funded by Healthy Hives 2020 Initiative

Bayer and Project Apis m. recently announced three new research proposals have received grants from Healthy Hives 2020, a $1 million research effort to improve the health of honey bee colonies in the U.S. by the end of 2020.

The grant recipients include:

  • Dr. Olav Rueppell, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who will investigate virus content and resistance in several currently available honey bees species
  • Dr. Edmund Stark, Michigan State University, who will aim to develop a commercially viable, cost-effective product to control the Varroa mite, considered by many to be the major cause of honey bee colony decline
  • Julie Shapiro, Keystone Policy Center, who submitted a proposal on behalf of the Honey Bee Health Coalition and will demonstrate the effectiveness of recognized best management practices that help to reduce honey bee colony loss

Dr. Olav Rueppell
Dr. Edmund Stark
Julie Shapiro

These three grant recipients join seven other researchers and scientists funded by the Healthy Hives 2020 program who are focused on studying critical bee health topics affecting the U.S. beekeeping industry. The nonprofit pollinator research organization Project Apis m. leads the administration of the program.

“Today’s beekeepers are faced with a broad range of issues and are in urgent need of practical solutions to improve the health of their hives,” said Danielle Downey, Executive Director for Project Apis m. and Healthy Hives 2020 program manager. “The projects funded by Bayer through Healthy Hives 2020 are critical to helping enhance the vitality of honey bee colonies, while also improving crop productivity.”

The Healthy Hives 2020 initiative was launched in 2015 by bringing together some of the nation’s leading bee health experts and stakeholders to identify and prioritize the most promising areas of research to improve bee health.

The program is focused on four major research objectives:

  • Conducting an economic assessment of the “true” cost of commercial beekeeping operations to help beekeepers maximize efficiency and production
  • Creating a set of “Best Management Practices” for commercial beekeeping based on definitive colony health performance data
  • Evaluating the use of “smart hive” technology to monitor honey bee colony health during commercial migratory operations
  • Assessing honey bee genetics for traits that are relevant to colony resistance to pests and diseases, as well as pollination efficiency and honey production in the U.S.

“Research projects conducted through the Healthy Hives 2020 initiative are helping identify and develop solutions for improving honey bee colony health and performance,” said Daniel Schmehl, Pollinator Safety Scientist at Bayer. “It is increasingly important to highlight the advancements made through research.”

Join us during National Pollinator Week (June 19-25) to learn more from Healthy Hives 2020 researchers.