The Bee Informed program is a growing partnership that several institutions started five years ago. “The basic idea behind the Bee Informed partnership is that we want to collect bee health data from a whole bunch of different sources and then put it together in sort of a centralized database so that we can use human epidemiological approaches to look at that data and look for trends,” University of Maryland Assistant Professor Dennis vanEngelsdorp said. “Our tech transfer teams are one of our programs,” vanEngelsdorp said. “(The teams) go out, and we have specialized beekeepers — people who are trained to work with large-scale commercial beekeepers — and they visit these operations regularly throughout the course of a year, taking lots of different samples and then collecting their disease information and giving it back to the beekeepers.” The Almond Board of California (ABC) is a major proponent of the tech transfer teams. The partnership is a non-profit, and ABC has helped fund the tech transfer team program as it expands. “I also think it’s really important to note that the Almond Board support hasn’t only been financial. It’s also been sort of moral support and guidance support,” vanEngelsdorp said. “They’re a much bigger organization. Almonds are much more valuable than bees. What they have is a lot of resources that we can tap into. So when we have questions about pesticides, they have experts who have dealt with those issues, and we can ask them questions.”
About the Almond Board
Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 almond growers and processors in California, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit Almonds.com or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.