Bee-utiful Work!

Jul 15, 2009

Honey bees--what do you know about them?

Do you know what the queen bee, worker bees and drones do? Do you know why bees swarm?   Do you want to learn to be a beekeeper? Or, if you already are a beekeeper,  how do you keep your hives healthy? If you're a researcher, what are your colleagues doing? Are we closer to finding the cause/causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD)?

You'll find the answers to those questions--and more--on a newly launched Bee Health Web site, the work of Cooperative Extension or "eXtension."

Coordinated by John Skinner,  a professor and Extension apiculturist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this Community of Practices project is the work of scores of experts across the country, including our own Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty. In fact, he and UC Davis native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology, are among those featured in videos on the site.  In addition, yours truly has some bee photos on the site.

Our hat (okay, our bee veil) is off to Skinner; vice chairs Keith Delaplane, professor at the University of Georgia;  Jeffery Pettis, research leader at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, Md., and IT technologist  Michael Wilson,  University of Tennessee.

Basically, this is an interactive learning environment connecting scientists with consumers and scientists with scientists. The site includes news, answers, a calendar, self-learning, and feeds.

Skinner hopes this will be the "go to" site for beekeeping information and bee science. 

Indeed! This is like having the best and brightest minds in the research laboratories and bee industry at your workplace or in your living room.

If you have a question about bees, all you need do is ask. The cadre of experts will "bee" there for you.

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

HONEY BEE nectars an almond blossom. This is one of the photos appearing on Cooperative Extension's newly launched Bee Health Web site.  California's 700,000 acres of almonds require two hives per acre for pollination. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee on Almond

POLLEN-PACKING BEE heads for an almond blossom. This is one of the photos appearing on Cooperative Extension's  newly launched Bee Health Web site. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Pollen-Packing Bee