National Honey Board Selects New Honey Bee Research Projects Focusing on Honey Bee Health

Budgeted Funding to Aid Eight Projects

Firestone, Colo., March 22, 2011 - The National Honey Board (NHB) will fund in 2011 eight new research projects focusing on honey bee health.  The Board's Research Committee, with input from a panel of experts, selected the projects from 12 proposals it received by the December 15, 2010, deadline.

The Board is required to budget 5 percent of its anticipated assessment revenues to production research, which includes projects that help producers maintain colony health while assuring the maintenance of honey quality.  Due to fewer research proposals in 2010, there were additional funds available that boosted this year's budget for new bee research.
 
"When funds are committed to production research, they cannot be used for another purpose," said Clint Walker III, Chairman of the National Honey Board Research Committee.  "We keep that money committed to production research until we find suitable research projects to fund."
 
The Board had a total of $223,000 in its 2011 budget for new projects, but the eight projects selected required a commitment of more than $241,000.  Since some of the projects extend into 2012, payments in 2011 will be within the $223,000 budget.

"We're pleased we received more proposals this year," Walker said. "We want to put this money to good use, and do it responsibly."  New projects approved for funding in 2011 include:

  1. "Comprehensive evaluation of role of nutrition in honey bee colony losses," Ramesh Sagili, Ph.D., Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University.
  2. "A long-term plan to improve honey bee genetics: formation of a tech transfer team (continuation)," Susan Donohue, University of California, Cooperative Extension Office; Dr. Marla Spivak, University of Minnesota.
  3. "Improving honey bee health and productivity by optimizing hive solar absorption," Michael P. Steinkampf, MD, Sandhurst Bee Company, Alabama.
  4. "Sustainability of VSH-based Varroa resistance using colonies selected within commercial beekeeping operations," Robert G. Danka, Research Entomologist, USDA, ARS Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics & Physiology Laboratory, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  5. "From subtle to substantial: a stage-structured matrix population model for predicting combined roles of nutrition and pesticides on honey bee colony health," James L. Frazier, Ph.D.; Wanyi Zhu, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University.
  6. "Are workers previously exposed as larvae to pesticides more susceptible to Nosema ceranae?" Zachary Huang, Ph.D., Department of Entomology, Michigan State University.
  7. "Using RNAi as a method for controlling Varroa destructor," Zachary Huang, Ph.D., Zhiyong Xi, Ph.D., Department of Entomology, Michigan State University.
  8. "Effects of pesticides in beeswax on honeybee behavior," Louisa A. Hooven, Ph.D., Department of Zoology, Oregon State University.

The National Honey Board conducts research, advertising and promotion programs to help maintain and expand markets for honey and honey products. These programs are funded by an assessment of one cent per pound on domestic and imported honey. The National Honey Board is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Source: National Honey Board (contact Bruce Boynton, bruce_boynton@nhb.org)

posted March 2011

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