Field Guides to Food

Intro and Resources for Conserving Bees

The following resources in this path are starting places to learn more about bees and what is happening for bee conservation for both domesticated honey/bumble bees and wild native bees in Minnesota.

The first page on the path is the TED talk given by Dr. Marla Spivak of the University of Minnesota. If you only have time for something short this is a great resource. Dr. Spivak is a leading researcher on bees especially honey bees. Her research in bee hygienic behavior has led to a breeding program to produce the Minnesota Hygienic honey bee- which is better at detecting diseases and removing infected bees from the hive. In this talk she gives a good overview of the problems facing bee keepers and bees today- you probably heard on the news about honey bee populations declining- the dreaded Colony Collapse Disorder. She goes over a brief explanation about the factors leading to this die off including pesticides, bad nutrition due to monoculture crops, being trucked across the country and the verroa mite. The talk isn't all doom and gloom however because at the end she gives ways that everyday people can help the bees.

The second item is another talk by Dr. Spivak. This time she is talking to bee keepers in the southwestern united states about what is going on with bee keeping recently in Minnesota. This is a great watch if you have the time because she tells them all about the cool things that are going on like BeezNeez, the new honey bee labs at the U of M that are being constructed and some policies that have been passed in an effort to help bees and bee keepers. She also talks about how well the policies are working so far on the ground. 

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