Project Apis m. (PAm) today announced it has issued the 2017 request for proposals (RFP) for Healthy Hives 2020, continuing a $1 million collaborative research effort to find tangible ways to improve the health of honey bee colonies in the United States by the year 2020.
PAm, now a decade old, has infused more than $6 million into honey bee research to provide healthier bees, resulting in better pollination and increased crop yields for the grower, and lower losses and better honey production for the beekeeper.
Administered by PAm and funded by Bayer, Healthy Hives 2020 RFP is seeking projects to address critical research needed to improve bee health and is focused on four priority areas:
- Conducting an economic assessment of the “true” cost of commercial beekeeping operations to help beekeepers maximize efficiency and production;
- Creating a set of “Best Management Practices” for commercial beekeeping based on definitive colony health performance data;
- Evaluating the use of “smart hive” technology to monitor honey bee colony health during commercial migratory operations; and,
- Assessing honey bee genetics for traits relevant to colony resistance to pests and diseases, as well as pollination efficiency and honey production in the U.S.
“Honey bees play a critical role in sustainable agriculture, pollinating many of the crops that are vital to the global food supply,” said PAm Executive Director Danielle Downey. “Colony losses are at a rate that challenges beekeepers’ ability to maintain necessary hive levels, and our nation’s beekeepers are working harder than ever to maintain a healthy hive. Our goal is to find innovative research projects that will have an immediate impact in solving some of the significant issues affecting honey bee health.”
Proposals should address one or more of the key focus areas, but other projects may be considered. The proposals should outline how the objectives will contribute to improving honey bee health by 2020, as well as include timelines, deliverables, budget, at least one letter of support, and a description of the qualifications of the researchers. Proposals should be submitted by email to both [email protected] and [email protected] by Dec. 9.
The 2017 RFP follows an announcement this summer of the first seven research projects selected to participate in Healthy Hives 2020 initiative. The lead researchers for those projects are:
- Arathi Seshadri, Colorado State University
- Brandon Hopkins, Advanced Beekeeping Solutions
- Jody Johnson, Cullaborate, LLC
- Joseph Cazier, Appalachian State University
- Quinn McFrederick, University of California, Riverside
- Stephen Martin, University of Salford
- Steve Sheppard, Washington State University
The Healthy Hives 2020 initiative was launched in 2015 with a two-day workshop that brought together some of the nation’s leading bee health experts and stakeholders at the Bayer North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park, NC. The 17 summit workshop attendees identified a wide range of bee health concerns which were later reviewed by the Healthy Hives 2020 Steering Committee and prioritized into the most promising areas of research.