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Alison McAfee | Honey Bee Hub

Tell me a story: What Beakerhead taught me about the spirit of SciComm

In an era abound with misinformation, scientists feel more pressure than ever to make their point and make it stick. Thankfully, Beakerhead is here to help. Continue reading “Tell me a story: What Beakerhead taught me about the spirit of SciComm”

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Biotech Varroa control

Every beekeeper has wrestled with the Varroa destructor mite. Every beekeeper also knows we’re running out of weapons. With abounding resistance to conventional miticides, researchers at Monsanto are instead trying to use biotechnology to fight the mite – it could work, but is another mite-killing agent what the industry really needs? Continue reading “Biotech Varroa control”

Hive of science for bees: Report from an international pollinator workshop

If you had the power to give $300,000 in annual research grants, how would you choose what to fund? The Rovaltain Foundation – in Alixan, France – decided to host researchers from all over the world to discuss the most important issues surrounding bee health. Continue reading “Hive of science for bees: Report from an international pollinator workshop”

Transgenic honey bees: Should they take wing in the field, or stay in the lab?

Love it or hate it, in this INK article I argue that genetic engineering is not inherently evil. Whether it’s good or bad is dictated by the context, motive, and intent – not the technology.

Breeding a better bee: Three social immunity traits, one massive experiment

Nine years ago, a team of Canadian researchers began to develop a  method for breeding honey bees with not one, but three disease-resistance characteristics simultaneously. Their results show that these bees survive against the odds when challenged with Varroa destructor and American foulbrood – two of the most deadly honey bee afflictions. Continue reading “Breeding a better bee: Three social immunity traits, one massive experiment”

Full texts now available

Hello everyone! I just wanted to write a quick note saying that all articles that have appeared in American Bee Journal have been updated to contain the article text & figures instead of short excerpts. The article on Hives for Humanity will be appearing in the October issue, at which time I’ll make that full text available too. Enjoy!

Neonics: The answered and unanswered questions

Neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics, for short) have been a hot topic in popular media and scientific research alike. Last June, two high profile research articles were published simultaneously in the prestigious journal Scienceone by Nadia Tsvetkov and one by Ben Woodcock – which used complimentary methods to assess effects of neonics in large-scale field trials. These are informative studies, but they still don’t answer what is, in my opinion, the most critical question of all: Is there a better alternative? Continue reading “Neonics: The answered and unanswered questions”

Hives for Humanity: Bringing new life to marginalized communities

People living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside face incredibly challenging socio-economic barriers, but their capacity for generosity and understanding has inspired a Canadian mother-daughter team to take action. Sarah and Julia Common saw a unique opportunity to use beehives as a hub to bring life and color back to Hastings. In June 2012, Hives for Humanity was born. Continue reading “Hives for Humanity: Bringing new life to marginalized communities”

Insights into the life of a Varroa mite

Varroa destructor mites are formidable pests — for all their beauty under a microscope, they are the number one reason for honey bee colony losses. And yet, reviewing the literature, I couldn’t believe how little we know about the mite’s fundamental biology. With the help of Jay Evans and Queenie Chan, I decided to change that.
Continue reading “Insights into the life of a Varroa mite”

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