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Honey bees, like all other living things, vary in traits such as temperament, disease resistance and productivity. The environment has a large effect on differences among bee colonies (for example, plants in different areas yield different honey crops), but the genetic makeup of a colony can also impact the characteristics that define a particular group. Beekeepers have long known that different genetic stocks have distinctive characteristics, so they have utilized different strains to suit their particular purpose, whether it be pollination, a honey crop or bee production.
It is the goal of every beekeeper to maintain healthy, productive colonies. This can only be accomplished by reducing the frequency and prevalence of disease within beehives. The following is an outline of recommendations for detecting and treating colonies for economically important parasites and pathogens of honey bees so that beekeepers may achieve this goal, and do so in a sustainable way for the long-term health of their colonies.
This factsheet outlines the history, movement, distribution, and present status of the Africanized honey bee in the United States. (Part 1 of a 3-part series)
An overview of honey bee dancing, a behavior that constitutes a language telling other workers the location of a food source.
This factsheet provides basic information about prevention and control of Africanized honey bees prior to their expected arrival in North Carolina. (Part 2 of a 3-part series.)
This article describes and defines the different types of insects that sting and are also often mistaken for honey bees.
Beekeeping is a very enjoyable and rewarding pastime that is relatively inexpensive to get started. Moreover, it’s a hobby that can eventually make you money! This factsheet is a primer on how to start your first hive and begin keeping bees.
This publication covers insect control in a variety of crops, as well as household pests.
Orchard management guide for apples, with information on insect, disease, weed, and mammal control, plus horticultural and fertility practices, use of IPM, prevention of insecticide resistance, and sprayer calibration.
A step-by-step instruction and description of how to install and maintain a new colony of honey bees.
Italian honey bees are susceptible to two deadly parasitic mites, while Russian bees have shown promise in resistance to these mites. This factsheet offers comparisons between Italian and Russian honey bees.
The varroa mite (Varroa destructor) is the most serious pest of honey bee colonies worldwide. This parasite was first detected in North Carolina in 1990, having been introduced to the US only three years earlier. Virtually all feral (or “wild”) honey bee colonies have been wiped out from these mites, and beekeepers continue to struggle with varroa infestations in their hives.
This factsheet answers basic questions about Africanized honey bees. (Part 3 of a 3-part series)
This factsheet describes the small hive beetle, its life cycle and how to prevent infestations of beehives by the beetle. It includes summaries of recommended treatments to control the beetles inside and outside the hive.