This announcement was published by Project Apis m. on behalf of the National Honey Board on September 23, 2019 and can be accessed here.
U.S. Honey yield per colony is decreasing while colony losses are increasing, as many crops
dependent on pollination services continue to expand. Winter honey bee colony losses in the United States were reported at 37.7% during 2019. Colony losses are often attributed to pathogens, parasites, pesticides, hive management (queen mating, genetics, maintenance), climate, and available nutrition. United States honey yield per colony averaged 54.4 pounds in 2018, down 2% from 55.5 pounds in 2017. (www.nass.usda.gov) Sustainable beekeeping is dependent on maximizing outputs (colony health, colony numbers, pollination contracts, honey production, profitability) while minimizing the inputs (time, money, personnel). A sustainable beekeeping industry contributes to a more sustainable agricultural landscape through a stable supply of bees for crop pollination. Therefore, PAm is requesting research proposals that focus on enhancing the health, survival and productivity of honey bee colonies, which provide practical and tangible solutions to the beekeeping industry.
The funding sponsor for these proposals is the National Honey Board (NHB), with Project Apis m. (PAm) administering the proposal, accountability and funding process. The NHB funds, collected by a federal research and promotion program ($0.015/lb), for Production Research, were approximately $347,000 in 2019. PAm administers several other initiatives with funding from many sources, including corporate sponsors, private donations and grants. Past proposals received and funded by PAm and NHB reflect a similar focus on supporting the industry.
The National Honey Board is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing and promotional programs. Project Apis m. is the largest nongovernmental, non-profit honey bee research organization in the USA. Established by beekeepers and almond growers in 2006, PAm has infused over $8 million into bee research to provide growers with healthier bees resulting in better pollination and increased crop yields.