Hosted by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia
CAP banner

Goals & Objective: Goal 4
Objective 4.4

Obj 4.4: Document beekeeper adoption of sustainable bee management practices

(Webster, Skinner, Delaplane, Sheppard, M. Ellis, Drummond)

To determine the impact of this CAP at changing beekeeper management toward more sustainable practices, beekeepers will be invited to participate in an evaluation of techniques and honey bee stocks developed from the research. The procedure will follow the CAP Logic Model in which “short term” and “medium term” goals are reached in cooperation with beekeepers. 

Similar to some of the comments made for Objective 1.9, we feel the earlier design (asking cooperators to change practices beginning year 2) was an invitation to survey bias; participants would feel compelled to give the “right” answers to subsequent questions about their IPM use. Therefore, we have altered our design by eliminating the sub-set of participants designated “non-IPM practitioners” and instead opted to simply advise cooperators of innovations proceeding from this CAP or elsewhere as reported on our Bee Health Community of Practice. We will then continue tracking participants’ practices and colony metrics without further stated or implied expectations.

Expected outcomes

  1. Empirical data on changes in beekeeper adoption of sustainable practices over 4 years,
  2. increased industry awareness of IPM management practices among peer groups,
  3. clearer understanding of emerging research and education priorities in sustainable health management.

Summary Statement for Goal 4
The knowledge-delivery component of our CAP has been one of the most visible and tangible successes of our project. A monthly CAP column series is published in the two beekeeping magazines, keeping CAP and its work visible to the beekeeping industry. The Bee Health eXtension website is quite simply one of the best research-based web resources for honey bee health and management anywhere. With monthly page views exceeding 31,000 it is patently proving an effective medium for delivering knowledge with the latest technology and most potent media. The BMP Guide for California almond pollinators is another tangible benchmark – a new standard for bee management with strong buy-in by scientists as well as practicing beekeepers. These kinds of lateral linkages, rather than top-down, will be invaluable in integrating science-based bee health management practices into the American beekeeping industry. This CAP goal also constitutes the most human element of our project. Here are represented numerous extension-style workshops, shortcourses, and lectures on bee genetics and breeding. None of these tops what CAP cooperator Marla Spivak has accomplished in her “Bee Team” – a tech transfer initiative with full-time on-the-ground staff in California dedicated to helping commercial queen producers learn techniques for genetically improving their bee stocks. The Bee Team model was instrumental in synergizing another successful honey bee CAP – the Bee Informed Platform recently begun in early 2011.

This objective has been folded into Objective 1.9.


Publications of objective 1.9 and objective 4.4 principal investigators (Webster, Skinner, Delaplane, Sheppard, M. Ellis, and Drummond) to date during the CAP

Afik, O., W. Hunter, and K.S. Delaplane. 2010. Effects of varroa mites and bee diseases on pollination efficacy of honey bees. Proceedings of the American Bee Research Conference, Orlando, Florida. American Bee Journal 150(5): 497

Berry, J.A., W.B. Owens, & K.S. Delaplane. 2010. Small-cell comb foundation does not impede Varroa mite population growth in honey bee colonies. Apidologie 41: 41-44 doi 10.1051/apido/2009049

Delaplane, K.S. & J.A. Berry. 2009. A test for sub-lethal effects of some commonly used hive chemicals. Proceedings of American Bee Research Conference, Gainesville, Florida. American Bee Journal 149(6): 586

Delaplane, K.S. and J.A. Berry. 2010. A test for sub-lethal effects of some commonly used hive chemicals, year two. Proceedings of American Bee Research Conference, Orlando, Florida. American Bee Journal 150(5): 498-499

Delaplane, K.S., J.D. Ellis, and W.M. Hood. 2010. A test for interactions between Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) and Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) in colonies of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America

Eitzer, B., F. Drummond, J.D. Ellis, N. Ostiguy, K. Aronstein, W.S. Sheppard, K. Visscher, D. Cox-Foster, & A. Averill. 2010. Pesticide analysis at the stationary apiaries, American Bee Journal, 150(5):500

Ellis, J.D., S. Spiewok, K.S. Delaplane, S. Bucholz, P. Neumann, & L. Tedders. 2010. Susceptibility of Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) larvae and pupae to entomopathogenic nematodes. Journal of Economic Entomology 103(1): 1-9 doi 10.1603/EC08384

Ellis, M.D. Pesticides Applied to Crops and Honey Bee Toxicity. 2010. American Bee
Journal, 149(5):485-486

Heintz, C, M. Ribotto, M. Ellis, K.S. Delaplane. 2011. Best Management Practices (BMPs) For Beekeepers Pollinating California’s Agricultural Crops. American Bee Journal, 151(3):265-268

Johnson, R.M. , M. Ellis, C.A. Mullin , M. Frazier. 2010. Pesticides and honey bee toxicity - USA. Apidologie 41:312–331 DOI: 10.1051/apido/2010018

Johnson, R.M., M.D. Ellis, C.A. Mullin, M. Frazier. (ed. Samataro) Book: ”Honey Bee Colony Health: Challenges and Sustainable solutions” Book chapter 14, Pesticides and Bee Toxicity - U.S.A Taylor and Francis, LLC, (accepted, 2011)

Pettis, J.S. and K. S. Delaplane. 2010. Coordinated responses to honey bee decline in the USA. Apidologie

Webster, T.C., F. E. Dowell, E. B. Maghirang, E. M. Thacker. 2009. Visible and near-infrared spectroscopy detects queen honey bee insemination. Apidologie. 40:565-569

Webster, T.C. 2010. Nosema ceranae -- the inside story. American Bee Journal. 150(4):367-370

Webster, T and K.A. Aronstein. Nosema ceranae Detection by Microscopy and Antibody
Tests. (ed. Samataro) Honey bee Colony Health: Challenges and Sustainable solutions (ed. Diana Samataro): Book chapter 10: Taylor and Francis, LLC. (accepted, 2011)

Williams, G.R., D.R. Tarpy, D. vanEngelsdorp, M.P. Chauzat, D.L. Cox-Foster, K.S. Delaplane, P. Neumann, J.S. Pettis, R.E.L. Rogers, D. Shutler. 2010. Colony Collapse Disorder in context. BioEssays doi: 10.1002/bies.201000075

Wilson, M. and J. Skinner. 2009. European foulbrood: A bacterial disease affecting
honey bee brood. website:

Wilson, M., J. Skinner, K. Delaplane, and J. Pettis. 2010. Bee Health @ a
web platform for the creation and dissemination of science-based recommendations. Proceedings of the American Bee Research Conference 2010. American Bee Journal, 150 (4):497- 511

Yves Le Conte, M. Ellis, W. Ritter. 2010. Varroa mites and honey bee health: can Varroa explain part of the colony losses? Apidologie, DOI: 10.1051/apido/2010017

Further Background Information

Documentation of CAP progress in general, and of this objective in particular, is available through the following sources:

  1. Bee Health, an eXention initiative for peer-reviewed scientific recommendations
  2. Colony Collapse Disorder Progress Report for 2009
  3. Best Management Practices (BMPs) For Beekeepers Pollinating California’s Agricultural Crops
Photo by Zachary Huang, Michigan State University
Photo by Zachary Huang,
Michigan State University

Updated July 22, 2011.