Alison McAfee | Honey Bee Hub

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

Photo: Amanda Goodman-Lee
Sick honey bee colonies can be treated with antibiotics and miticides, but pathogens are evolving resistance to fight back. Now, researchers have developed a new counter-attack.

Continue reading “Breeding a better bee: Three social immunity traits, one massive experiment”

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Hives for Humanity: Using bees for social empowerment in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Photo: Sarah Common
A Canadian mother-daughter team is bringing life and colour to the Hastings homeless community by installing therapeutic apiaries and gardens. Continue reading “Hives for Humanity: Using bees for social empowerment in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside”
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Precision Pollination

A simple trick could let beekeepers improve their colonies’ pollination efficiency

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The surprising benefit of laying workers

Photo: Malcolm Rickets
Laying workers are usually unwelcome pests, but they are also a window into how insect societies may have evolved.

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Life without fumagillin


The only registered treatment for Nosema disease is no longer commercially available.

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Long live the sperm

Photo: Alison McAfee
Honey bee queens keep drones’ sperm alive inside them for years, but some surprising environmental triggers can cause massive sperm death.

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The blueberries and the bees

Photo: Marta Guarna
Thousands of honey bee colonies arrive in the Fraser Valley’s blueberry fields every spring, but beekeepers are worried this crop may be harming their bees. Continue reading “The blueberries and the bees”

Who’s got the guts?

Image: Waldan Kwong
The honey bee gut is home to hundreds of millions of microbes – some of which help the host, and some of which destroy it.

Continue reading “Who’s got the guts?”

Hygienic behavior and the scent of death

Photo: Alison McAfee
HYGIENIC WORKER BEES are key players in the hive’s social immune system, removing sick and dying brood before the diseases they harbor can spread.  Continue reading “Hygienic behavior and the scent of death”

How a Nobel Prize in physiology created tomorrow’s Varroa control

Photo: Alison McAfee
Every beekeeper has wrestled with the Varroa destructor mite. Every beekeeper also knows we’re running out of weapons.  Continue reading “How a Nobel Prize in physiology created tomorrow’s Varroa control”

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.

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