How $4 Million For US Bee Research Is Spent A Who's Who of Colony Collapse Disorder Scientists
by Kim Flottum , Bee Culture magazine
On July 17, Ag Secretary Shafer announced that the University of Georgia had been awarded a $4.1 million grant to study CCD.
This is a four year CAP (Coordinated Agriculture Project) grant, funded through USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), which aims to improve the health of managed bee populations in agricultural systems. The research, according to Shafer, will address genomics, breeding, pathology, immunology and applied ecology to explain the causes behind dwindling bee populations.
Researchers will work closely with the extension community and other stakeholders to develop and implement mitigation strategies for CCD and other significant problems.
The research team that put together the proposal is spread out over much of the country, coming from 16 Universities and two USDA Honey Bee Research Labs. That they just got this money isn’t a surprise since we outlined their goals some time ago, but I’ll bet you haven’t heard of most of these scientists, and I’d like to give a short introduction for some of them, so you know who is in charge of finding out the answers to Colony Collapse Disorder.
• The Project Director is Dr. Keith Delaplane, Univ of GA. He’s written a couple technical books on pollination and honey bee mites, and a couple of beginning beekeeping books. He does research and Extension at GA, mostly on varroa mite IPM, but other projects as well. On this grant he’ll be working on IPM and queen resistant queen production.
• Dr. Kate Aronstein, from the USDA Honey Bee Lab in Weslaco, TX will be working on the new disease suspected of contributing to CCD, Nosema ceranae. She’ll be working with Dr. Tom Webster, KY State, and Dr. Leellen Solter, who is leading the Nosema studies, from the Natural History Survey in IL. Dr. Christina Grozinger, Univ NC will also be helping, doing micorarray analyses of Nosema-infected bees collected by Dr. Aronstein, and also looking at the genetic differences between bees resistant and susceptible to Nosema, produced by Dr. Greg Hunt, from Purdue. She will have one of the stationary apiaries.
• Dr. Anne Averill, Univ MA is the non-Apis scientist in the group, who will be studying the effects of insecticides on bees that aren’t honey bees.
• Dr. Nick Calderone, from Cornell Univ is studying genetic variability of northern bee populations, and when he finds desirable samples will send them to Dr. Greg Hunt at Purdue who will incorporate them in his resistant program, and to Dr. Steve Sheppard, WA State, who is doing the same thing for western and southern U.S. bees. Dr. Calderone will also develop stock selection protocols for honey bee breeding programs.
• Dr. Diana Cox-Foster, PA State will be working on the diagnostics and pathogen collection part of the program. She has one of the stationary apiaries.
• Robert Danka, USDA Honey Bee Research Lab in Baton Rouge will be working on finding honey bee strains resistant to varroa mites, in collaboration with Dr. Hunt and Dr. Marla Spivak, Univ MN.
• Dr. Frank Drummond, Univ ME, will be studying the pollinating efficacy of Bombus impatiens (a bumblebee) and looking at bumblebee habitat. He also will manage one of the stationary apiaries there.
• Brian Eitzer, from CT Ag Experiment Station will be conducting toxicology studies and analyses.
• Dr. Marion Ellis, Univ NE will be looking, along with a Post-Doc student and a colleague, Dr. Blair Siegfried, at the sub-lethal effects of pesticides on honey bees.
• Dr. Zach Huang, MI State will be working with Dr. Webster and others on Nosema-induced morbidity.
• Dr. Greg Hunt will, in addition to the tasks already mentioned, be doing a significant amount of work on the genetics of resistance in honey bees to a variety of problems, using a wide collection of sophisticated techniques working with the newly fleshed out honey bee genome.
• Chris Mullin, PA State will be working on sublethal pesticide bioassays, along with Maryann Frazier and Dr. Jim Frazier. Dr. Nancy Ostiguy, PA State will be working on the descriptive epidemiology of the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus and Deformed Wing Virus and is part of the stationary apiary program in PA Steve Sheppard, WA State Univ will manage one of the stationary apiaries, and be looking at genetic diversity in the honey bee population. Dr. John Skinner, Univ TN will be responsible for getting all of this information from the scientists to the eXtension web site for distribution to the rest
of the world. These scientists have joined with the USDA Ag Research Service’s Areawide Project to form a Managed Pollinator Community of Practice, a combined website that will be the chief conduit through which new knowledge will flow to beekeepers and crop growers. Dr. Marla Spivak, Univ
MN will have one of the stationary apiaries, and will be working on developing honey bees resistant to the various pathogens they are finding, and then teaching commercial queen breeders how to incorporate these traits into available queens. Dr. Kirk Visscher, Univ CA, Riverside will manage the stationary apiary in California. And Dr. Tom Webster, KY State will study the two Nosema diseases we have, the old one and the new one, and what happens when they combine with each other, and other stress disorders.
So there you have it. A vast entomological army of expertise. The best there is, according to the USDA, which gave them the money, to study Colony Collapse Disorder. When you divide the $4.1 million between all these people, plus buy all that equipment for apiaries, each one doesn’t end up with much ... let’s hope it’s enough.
HONEY NUT APPLE PIE
Printed from COOKS.COM
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. sour cream
3/4 c. honey
1/2 c. chopped pecans
6 med. tart apples
Pastry for 2 crust 9 inch pie
Mix flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add sour cream, honey and pecans. Stir in apples that are peeled and sliced. Line pie pan with half of pastry. Add filling. Put on top crust. Preheat oven and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce to 350 degrees and bake 15 minutes longer. 6 to 8 servings.