April 2024

Pacific Branch Entomological Society of America  (PBESA) Conference 2024

A couple members of the WSU Bee Program attended the Pacific Branch ESA meeting in Waikoloa, Hawaii this April!

Our program’s extension coordinator, Bri Price, gave an overview of small hive beetle as an emerging pest in Washington State. Over the last couple years, we have received reports of reproducing populations of small hive beetle in Whatcom County. With global climate change, parts of western Washington’s climate may be increasingly suitable for populations of small have beetle. Our program is working on educational factsheets about this to give beekeepers the information and tools they need to make knowledgeable decisions on their small hive beetle management. These fact sheets are currently in the review process, so keep an eye out for these new extension publications in coming months.

Bri Price presenting her slides at PBESA 2024 conference.

Dr. Saumik Basu gave a presentation about the progress of the WSU Bee Program’s Metarhizium research, including the need for continued fine tuning of the selected strain that is more tolerant to in-hive temperatures, virulence to the Varroa mites, and benefit to honey bee survival.

Saumik Basu presenting his slides at PBESA 2024 conference.

WSU Bee Program is Looking for Volunteers for APHIS National Honey Bee Survey 2024!

WSU Bee Program is looking for beekeepers with 8 or more hives in their bee yards.

The Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) conducts a yearly survey to document which bee diseases, parasites, or pests of honey bees are present and/or likely absent in the U.S. Specifically, this survey has verified the absence of the parasitic mite Tropilaelaps, small hive beetle, and other exotic threats to honey bee populations. 

People from the WSU Bee Program and APHIS will travel to your apiary, collect samples with you, and submit them.

What is sampled:

  1. Live adult bees
  2. Adult bees in alcohol sample
  3. A wax sample
  4. A brood frame will be knocked into a collection pan several times to collect any Tropilaelaps mites, beetles, etc. 

You can expect a report about your colonies 6-12 months after sampling. For more information about what to expect when sampling, please watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ_a6BJEGmI

Sign up on this form if you are interested in letting us sample from your hives: https://forms.gle/UBzKHA9cQcD5ZWSx7

Bri Price (managing Western WA) or Jenny Eason (managing Eastern/Central WA) will be in touch with you to coordinate times to sample after May 2024.

Bri (WSU) collecting live bee sample.
Yolanda (APHIS) knocking brood frame onto tray to collect any exotic organisms.
Bri (WSU) straining contents collected from tray and preserving sample in alcohol.

Looking for more updates on beekeeper happenings in Washington? Check out the Washington State Beekeepers Association newsletters!

Author: Bri Price, Honey Bee Program Extension Coordinator