Webinar Series to Highlight New Research on Key Bee Health Issues

Bayer, in partnership with Bee Culture and Project Apis m., will celebrate National Pollinator Week (June 19–23) by showcasing innovative research aimed at making an immediate impact on honey bee colony health. Researchers working on projects funded through the Healthy Hives 2020 initiative will present their findings on a number of critical bee health issues during a webinar series open to anyone interested in bee health.

To register for free, click here. Replays will be available following each session here.

Stephen MartinMonday, June 19, from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. ET

Tracking the Changing Deformed Wing Virus

Stephen Martin, Ph.D., Professor, School of Environment & Life Sciences, University of Salford, Manchester, UK, will discuss how the viral landscape is changing, how these changes are affecting U.S. honey bees and, specifically, how the Varroa mite is providing a new viral transmission route for a previously rare and largely benign virus called Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). The mite’s main role in causing the death of honey bee colonies is by acting as a transmitter of this virus. DWV is now one of the most widespread insect viruses in the world infecting most colonies in the U.S. and healthy-looking bees are also potentially infected, not just the deformed ones, as people often think. DWV is made up of several distinct viral strains, and each viral strain may have a different effect on the honey bees. The project is seeking to determine if nonvirulent strains can be linked to increased colony survival to develop a long-term solution to the problem of Varroa-transmitted viruses.

Mike SmithJulie ShapiroWednesday, June 21, from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. ET

Keys to Colony Success

Julie Shapiro, Coalition Facilitator, Keystone Policy Center, Keystone, CO, and Mike Smith, Project Director, Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), West Lafayette, IN, will discuss the Honey Bee Health Coalition (HBHC) Bee Integrated Demonstration Project showcasing the best management practices (BMPs) that help to reduce honey bee colony loss through a coordinated and collaborative effort. The project will utilize a suite of tools, guides and techniques developed by diverse beekeeping and crop production partners that can effectively address the primary risk factors influencing bee health, including honey bee forage and nutrition, hive management, crop pest management and education/cooperation. The demonstration project will measure colony losses throughout the season and use the data to inform beekeeping BMPs with the goal of minimizing colony losses.

Friday, June 23, from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. ET

Smarter Hives, Healthier Bees

Joseph Cazier, Ph.D. and Ed Hassler, Ph.D. of the Center for Analytics Research and Education, Appalachian State University, and James Wilkes, Ph.D., Computer Science Department, Appalachian State University, and Founder, HiveTracks.com, will discuss advancements in the use of technology-assisted data collection at the honey bee colony level to assist beekeepers in making wise hive management decisions. This “Smart Hive” project is aimed at building a data platform that identifies and improves best management practices (BMPs) through the tailoring of BMPs to specific apiary or hive locations. Additionally, the improved monitoring of hive conditions aims to reduce costs, increase efficiency in honey bee colony management and provide a measurable reduction in annual colony losses within both commercial and hobbyist operations.

Joseph Cazier
Ed Hassler
James Wilkes

This National Pollinator Week webinar series is an extension of Bayer’s commitment to research, education, partnerships and stewardship to address the needs of honey bees. Follow along and share with us on Twitter @Bayer4CropsUS and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BayerBeeCareCenter.