CATCH THE BUZZ – Pollinator Partnership Helps Fund Honey Bee Research

Timely Support from USDA APHIS and Pollinator Partnership Members

There will be a few more busy researchers gearing up for the 2015 season thanks to support from Pollinator Partnership’s (P2) generous donors who have helped generate more than $60,000 for honey bee health issues.  With funding from USDA APHIS…Read the rest here…

as well as contributions from individuals..  “This fits perfectly with the recently announced federal strategy for honey bee health announced by President Obama,” said P2 Exec. Director Laurie Davie Adams.  “This public-private partnership is exactly what is called for.”  See  to view the federal strategy.

The Honey Bee Heath Task Force of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), under the co-chairmanship of Dr. Christina Grozinger, Pennsylvania State University, and Dr. Robyn Rose, USDA APHIS, solicits proposals each year in January from University researchers and graduate students who are pioneering new approaches to bee nutrition, conservation, genetics, and epidemiology.

“Researchers today are dealing with more and more complicated questions and scenarios in bee health. Honey Bee Health grants help give pioneering researchers the flexibility to ask additional questions and have sparked some remarkable findings,” offers P2 Research Director Dr. Vicki Wojcik.

This year the NAPPC Honey Bee Health Task Force assembled a distinguished panel to review the proposals which included Jeff Pettis, Ph.D., John Skinner, Ph.D., Olav Rueppel. Ph. D., Laurie Davies Adams, Kelly Rourke, Robyn Rose, Ph.D., and Deborah Delaney, Ph. D.  The panel funded 6 outstanding research projects that advance the science supporting practical applications in genetics, pesticides, nutrition, best management practices, pathogens and pests. Of the more than 50 applications submitted to the NAPPC Task Force, the following projects will be funded and will report progress at the annual NAPPC International Conference in Washington, D.C. October 20, 2015:


  • Dr. Diana Cox-Foster at Pennsylvania State University will be studying the antiviral immune responses of honey bees, including whether bees are able to change their behaviors and self-medicate to avoid or reduce infections.
  • Dr. Adam Dolezal at Iowa State University will be investigating how infections with viruses might change the behavior of honey bees and perhaps increase their transmission.
  • Research into how a full range of pesticides impact bee health will be conducted by Dr. Scott McArt at Cornell University.
  • Graduate researcher Rodney T. Richardson at Ohio State University will be looking into the immune functions of honey bees in response to fumagillin – a commonly used antibiotic in bee hives.
  • Veterinarian Dr. Elemir Simko at the University of Saskatchewan will be testing the impacts of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid on worker bee development and hygienic behavior.
  • Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp at the University of Maryland will be looking into the real world impacts of the multitude of pesticides that honey bees interact with as well as their diet to better understand total bee health.


Funding for the 2015 Honey Bee Health grants came from a research partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and APHIS as well as generous donations from invididauls through P2’s Bee Merry and Bee Mine campaign in support of bee health. Honey Bee Health Grants have been distributed for over 5 years, totally more than $300,000 in research support for over 30 research programs in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Funding falls short every year and tax-deductible donations are welcomed throughout the year.  One 4th grade classroom put on a bake sale for honey bee research and contributed over $400.  Every dollar received is leveraged significantly and makes a real difference for honey bees.  Contact Kelly Rourke at Pollinator Partnership at or at 415.362.1137 to join the campaign to increase knowledge about and action for the health of honey bees.