What are wax moths and what kind of damage do they make in a beehive?

There are two species of wax moth that cause damage to honey bee colonies by consuming beeswax as their larvae develop and in the process of making a pupal cocoon they score the wooden frames that hold the wax combs, weakening the wood. Damage becomes obvious as they produce large quantities of gray-white webbing and dark fecal material as they feed. The larger of the two species (3/4 inch long gray-brown adult), the greater wax moth, Gallaria melonella causes more …

What are some ways to reduce the population of Varroa mites in honey bee colonies, without the use of pesticides?

Mite-resistant Bees. In response to development of resistance to chemical miticides, and in order to provide more sustainable mite management, honey bees have been selectively bred for resistance to, or tolerance of, Varroa. There are two known mechanisms of resistance: hygienic behavior and suppression of mite reproduction (SMR). Hygiene is the removal of diseased (including mite-parasitized) brood by workers; SMR is the reduction in reproduction of female mites within brood cells. Types of resistant queens include; Minnesota Hygienic, the Russian …

How can honey bees produce honey from nectar that is toxic to them?

Some plants produce nectar that is poisonous to bees. It is difficult to understand how honey bees can produce honey from this toxic nectar. The effect on the bee is probably dose related at an individual as well as a colony level. The bee must consume a minimum amount of the toxin before it is affected. If the bee is visiting other non-toxic plants before returning to the colony, the toxin from the poisonous nectar may be diluted. Another factor …

How do I know whether my bees have Nosema disease?

The only way to be sure is to examine bees by microscope. A sample of bees is macerated in a small amount of water, and then a drop of the liquid is examined on a microscope slide at 400 power. Spores appear as ovals, about 3 by 5 microns. One outward indication of Nosema is brown spots (fecal material) on the outside or inside of a hive. The inner cover or top bars can be soiled with feces in a …

Can a honey bee be born without the aid of a drone?

Yes and no. A drone’s (male bee) purpose is to mate with a queen (female reproductive bee). All other colony activities are performed by worker bees (female bees). To discuss how a bee is born, we can start with when the egg is laid. Generally speaking, if the queen fertilizes this egg with sperm, it will become a worker bee, or another queen. If she does not fertilize the egg, it will become a drone (male). The care and feeding …

Which pesticide formulations are least hazardous to honey bees?

Different formulations of the same insecticide often vary considerably in their toxicity to bees. Granular insecticides generally are not hazardous to honey bees. Dust formulations (seldom used today on commercial field crops) are typically more hazardous than emulsifiable concentrates because they adhere to the bee’s body hairs and are carried back to the beehive. Wettable powder and flowable formulations essentially dry to a dust-like form which foragers can carry to the hives. Likewise, microencapsulated insecticides can be collected by foragers …

Pollination and Protecting Pollinators

Washington State Pollination Video

Pollination in agriculture and why it matters.

Pollination and Protecting Pollinators from WSU CAHNRS Video Production on Vimeo.

Honey bees are the most important pollinator in the United States and worldwide. Pollination is essential and a critically important process in producing much of the food we eat. Without pollinators, such as the honey bee, we would have few fruits, vegetables, nuts and many other types of food we depend upon. This 52-minute video gives an overview of the pollination