WILBERFORCE, Ohio — Central State University Extension’s (CSUE) will host a webinar series, “Caring for Honeybee Queens,” beginning Wednesday, April 14, at 6 p.m., and continuing every other Wednesday for six sessions, that will focus on quality, developing queen cells and encouraging genetic diversity.
A USDA North Central Region SARE partnership Grant supports the webinar series.
Master beekeepers and researchers from Ohio and Kentucky will offer the workshop series for intermediate-level beekeepers to discuss the biology of honeybee queens including the importance of queen cells and development to behavior and genetics.
“Beekeeping is where science meets agriculture, and there is an art to raising bees,” said Central State University Research Assistant Professor of Entomology Hongmei Li-Byarlay. “We need bees for our agriculture and environment because they are important pollinators for fruits, vegetables, and crops.
Li-Byarlay, an expert in bee genetics, social behavior, and physiology, is committed to helping save bees through dynamic and innovative research and community presentations.
One third of our food are pollinated by bees. Honeybee colonies provide lots of products for human including honey, beeswax, propolis, pollen (bee bread), royal jelly and bee venom,” she added. “So learning how to keep bees in a sustainable way is important for our environment. We have to protect them. These seminars will help participants learn about sustainable beekeeping.as well as new information about genetic diversity and queen quality.”
Her research at CSU centers around honeybee genetics, behavior, breeding, and physiology.
“With so much of the ecosystem relying on the hard work of bees, it’s hard to find a reason not to attend this workshop. Natural beehives face a lot of challenges,” Li-Byarlay said. “Through beekeeping, humans can play a role in preserving populations, and in doing so help sustain the environment. The goal of our webinars is to teach beekeepers about 48-hr queen cells, genetic diversity and queen quality.”
Below is the tentative schedule of the six-week webinar series:
- April 14: Barbara Bloetscher, State Apiarist and Entomologist for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, will start the 2021 webinar series with her discussion of Ohio queen regulations. Her experience in hive colony inspection and inspector training provides a unique insider view of state rules and laws regarding keeping and managing colonies.
- April 28: Mark Beougher, President of the Greater Grand Lake Beekeepers Association will present a talk on swarm traps based on his years of experience and information about 48-hour queen cells. Mark has a successful history of using 48-hour queen cells as a breeding technique and has extensive knowledge of breeding healthy stocks of bees.
- May 12: Dr. Hongmei Li-Byarlay, Research Assistant Professor of Entomology at Central State University (expert in Genetics, Functional Genomics, and Behavior of Honey Bees) will discuss queen quality, grooming/ mite biting behavior and mite resistance. She will discuss current efforts with Purdue University and partner beekeepers on breeding honeybee colonies.
- May 26: Dorothy Morgan, President of the Kentucky Queen Breeders Association), will discuss queen rearing and breeding for mite resistance. The Varroa mite is one of the most devastating parasites that honeybee colonies can endure. Dorothy specializes in artificially rearing queens and selecting for mite resistance genes, and provides valuable insight on honeybee survival.
- June 9: Dr. Reed Johnson, Associate Professor from the Ohio State University, expert of Apiculture, Pollinator Toxicology, and Genomics, takes the metaphorical stage to discuss the drone bee research. Dr. Johnson’s expertise will provide valuable insight into the complexity of healthy colony management and breeding.
- June 23: Dr. Chia-Hua Lin, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Ohio State University, an expert in Bee Biology, will provide a talk titled “Effects of “bee-safe” pesticides applied during almond bloom on developing queens.”
All webinars are free and open to the public. Registration is available athttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/144473912361 . For more information, contact Dr. Cindy Folck at afolck@CentralState.edu.
— Central State University Extension
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