USDA-ARS Areawide Project to Improve Honey Bee Health

Image:Areawide.gif The goal of the USDA-ARS Areawide program is to increase colony survival and availability for pollination and thus increase the profitability of beekeeping. A comprehensive bee management system is taking shape, centered around the following objectives.

Photo by Jeff Pettis, USDA-ARS


  1. Increase colony strength for pollination of almonds and subsequent crops.
  2. Demonstrate that resistant bee stocks reduce operating costs and increase survivor-ship.
  3. Demonstrate improved parasitic mite control with proper timing of application.
  4. Improve the content and delivery methods for carbohydrate and protein diets.
  5. Improve the integrated use of controls for pests and diseases including non-chemical beekeeping methodology.

Participating ARS labs


While studying honey bee nutrition, pollen is collected in traps installed under honey bee colonies. This pollen can then be taken to the lab in examined for species of origin, pesticide contamination, and nutritional elements. Photo by Nathan Rice.


Coordinated responses to honey bee decline in the USA. Jeffery S. Pettis, Keith S. Delaplane. Apidologie 41 (3) 256-263 (2010)