National Honey Board and PAm to Merge Research Efforts

Firestone, Colorado, June 8, 2016 – Project Apis m. (PAm) and the National Honey Board (NHB) are pleased to announce that PAm will be administering the NHB production research funds starting in 2017.

Merging efforts means one less round of work for all of our hardworking bee researchers who write proposals, scientific reviewers who read them, and selection committees and administrators who see these processes through. In addition, it will afford us opportunities to see a broader spectrum of projects, put together ideas that have the potential for synergy, and access deeper resources when necessary for projects that may need larger time or money commitments. Increased efficiency to fund and direct honey bee research will save all involved time and money.

Read the full Press Release here: NHB _PAm_PressRelease_2016

Project Apis m. Announces New PAm-Costco Scholar

Congratulations to the new PAm-Costco Scholar, Morgan Carr Markell! We had an exceptionally competitive field of applicants and wish we could fund them all!  Morgan is bright, determined, and an excellent communicator with a variety of audiences and we couldn’t be more excited about awarding her this scholarship.  Morgan is working on her PhD at the University of Minnesota, studying honey bee usage of native prairie plants. The award is $150,000 over three years, a significant investment in the future of honey bee research.  Watch for Morgan to do great things!


Job opening – Bee Breeding Apiarist

A honey bee breeding project focused on Varroa resistance in commercially desirable bees has started in Hilo, Hawaii.

We are currently looking for two motivated apiarists to staff the project.  For more information, click on the link:

Bee Breeding Apiarist

Did we Hit the Jackpot?

“This could be a game changer for honey bee colony health,” says Grass Valley beekeeper and biologist Randy Oliver.  “Dr. Stephen Martin may have hit the jackpot.”  Randy, as a PAm science advisor, brought Dr. Martin’s research proposal to PAm and encouraged our organization to fund this research.  It was money well spent, to discover variants in Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) and to better understand the interaction between DWV and Varroa.  Click here  to read the article we published in Almond Facts

PAm Board Press Release April 2016

PAm announces two new appointments to the Board of Directors. Read more about Dr. Gary Shilling and Pat Heitkam below:

PAm Board Press Release April 2016

2016 Almond Bloom Spray Issues Survey

Are you a beekeeper who pollinated almonds in 2016 and experienced significant brood loss?  

If so, you’re not alone!  You are encouraged to complete a brief survey  – find it here.  

Unconscionable bee theft

Bee thefts Thieves stole the heart out of at least 20 colonies, impacting several different research projects underway at Washington State University (WSU).  When scientists Dr. Brandon Hopkins and Dr. Steve Sheppard traveled to evaluate their colonies east of Modesto this almond pollination season, they were saddened by what they found.  “Someone knew what they were doing”, said Dr. Sheppard.  “In most cases the queen was gone, as were 4-5 frames from the bottom box”.  He went on to say, “Somebody formed some nucs out of our research colonies, and then probably went on to sell them at a pretty good price, given the value of bees in almonds.”  These bees were particularly valuable because of the time and effort WSU invested in the artificial insemination of the queens, the investment made in breeding, and in collecting data leading up to the planned subsequent evaluation in almonds.  Colonies were located in the Empire area, and frames may or may not have WSU stamped on them.  If you have any information, please contact Dr. Brandon Hopkins at 509-868-1250 or email him at  Project Apis m. will collect money for WSU to help replace these colonies.  Please see our website at to donate via check or PayPal.  Write “WSU colonies” on the memo line (check) or purpose (PayPal).  Thank you!

23 Dec 15 Wardell Report

Word From Wardell Dec 15

Canadian Nutrition Proposals Due Dec. 4th


PAm is seeking research proposals from Canadian institutions and scientists under the category of bees and nutrition.  The financial sponsor for this RFP is from Canada and has specified that the PI’s be from a Canadian research or academic institution.  The intended outcome of the research would be to benefit and better manage commercial honey bee colonies in Canada.  Interested please click here for the RFP.


Bee Status – Fall 2015

Many of the calls I’ve been getting lately are about honey bee health. To quote Yogi Berra, “It’s like dejavu, all over again.” I’m going to miss Yogi, but I can’t say I’d miss Varroa mites if they weren’t around any longer. Beekeepers I’ve talked to out of the Midwest and as far west as Montana say that mites are a problem again this year. It’s likely a function of a strong honey year and the bees plugging out the brood nest, effectively reducing the queen’s egg-laying ability.

And when the mites shift to the worker brood in the late summer, the mites have the advantage. By the time the honey came off, the mites had done severe damage, and it’s difficult to rebuild healthy bees late in the season using compromised bees. Hopefully, the cases I’m hearing about are isolated and not a regional trend.

Again this summer, queens have been a major issue in colony health. Reports of wide-spread queen failure, supersedure queens that aren’t accepted, rejected replacement queens and young queens that go drone layer have been reported across the country. There is definitely something going on with queen health. The Bee Informed Partnership recently reported that beekeeping operations whose queens were less than 6 months old lost significantly more overwintering colonies than beekeepers whose queens were aged between 6 months and 2 years. There are a lot of factors that come to play in losses like this, but there is no doubt that we need to figure out what is going on with queens today.

On another issue, I got two calls this weekend from beekeepers with trucks stopped at border crossing into California. One was for a beetle, and the other was an unspecified ant. Both loads were held until the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Border Inspection staff could positively identify the insects. Both loads were eventually cleared and released, but this is a reminder to take sanitation seriously. Spending a little extra time cleaning the hives and pallets prior to loading could save a lot of time at the border inspection station.

I spoke with Roger Cline earlier this week. He’s the Director of the CDFA Border Inspection stations. He said nothing has changed this year in regards to border inspections. Insects found on trucks entering California must be identified. Their entomologist in Sacramento will be available to do pest IDs 8 AM until 5 PM Monday through Friday and after-hours and on weekends from his mobile device until 10 PM. I asked Roger what were some of the big problems last year at the inspection stations. He said the beekeepers should pay close attention to mud and weeds between pallets, Bagworms, Cereal Leaf Beetle, Red Imported Fire Ants (of course, but any ant is enough to hold a load), and even Hive Beetles. A number of CA counties don’t have Small Hive Beetles (SHB), and the State restricts movement of SHB-infested colonies to hive beetle-free counties. Most stations have water and hose bibs available to wet down the load if needed. Roger did say that the well at the Yermo Station has gone dry, and a holding tank has been installed. Water availability at Yermo Station depends on the tank being refilled.

More bees than ever left California this year due to the drought looking for greener pastures, so we will likely see record numbers of colonies being trucked back into California this fall and winter. It promises to be a very interesting season for migratory beekeepers. So, as Yogi so aptly put it, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Dr. Gordon Wardell

Chairman, Project Apis m.

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