The February edition of the Apis Information Resource News is now available: It contains a discussion of the Bee Informed Partnership loss survey to begin in April and the fate of the White House Pollinator Initiative with reference to the new presidential administration.
The Bee Informed Partnership is going to conduct its yearly loss survey during the month of April. Sign up to participate. Last year showed a 44 percent preliminary loss. The program is still looking for those interested in managing something called “sentinel scale hives.” You can do a lot with this site if you have the time to fully explore its potential.
Mensagem Doce reported late last year on its parent organization’s (APACAME) growth and movement to a new location in Parque Fernando Costa in São
Paulo, Brazil. My colleague Dr. L. Gonçalves is ramping up the campaign known as “Bee or Not to Be,” apologies to Shakespeare. This campaign is also running a Bee Alert program:
“The BeeAlert application is the first online platform for the disappearance of registration or death of bees in apiaries by geolocation. Beekeepers, beekeepers and the scientific community are able to share cases, helping to give visibility to a serious but silent problem. Watch the video and find out how easy and fast to register their events by smartphone, tablet ou desktop. Just visit the site and download the application in the Apple Store or Google Play stores.”
Another effort by Apimondia also attempts to catalog bee losses via something called DAD-IS: Integrating Pollinators.
There’s not much chatter concerning the fate of honey bee research in the Federal labs, given a new administration. There may have been in Galveston at the North American Beekeeping Conference and Trade Show but I missed that event. Both Bob Danka (Baton Rouge Lab) and Jay Evans (Beltsville Lab) were on the Kim and Jim Show hosted at Bee Culture, but the subject never came up. That may be understandable given the current environment at the White House, but the indications noted above are not encouraging:
“Employees of the scientific research arm at the Agriculture Department were ordered Monday to cease publication of ‘outward facing’ documents and news releases, raising concerns that the Trump administration was seeking to influence distribution of their findings.
“Starting immediately and until further notice, [the Agricultural Research Service, or ARS] will not release any public-facing documents. This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” wrote ARS chief Sharon Drumm in an email to employees.
There was literally no discussion during the campaign about the President’s policies going forward concerning agriculture extension or research, but there was plenty about the fate of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One of the first orders there was to freeze federal hiring.
Both the above are lead agencies in the recent White House Pollinator initiative. Tellingly, the funds for the activities associated with this initiative are not dedicated to it specifically, but “…will have to come from those re-directed by departments and agencies.” Basically it looks like the powers-that-be can simply ignore projects or direct funding elsewhere. Potentially a lot of work and effort could be consigned to history’s dustbin.
See the full post here.