Lab Updates


For the most up-to-date information regarding events and news from the Rangel Lab, please follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TAMUhoneybeelab

September 2014

Members of the Hillel Jewish Student organization visited the honey bee lab last week as part of the celebrations for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Traditionally during Rosh Hashanah, people eat symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a "sweet new year." Participants received a few bee-talks by Adrian, Pierre, and Liz, and were able to taste different honeys to make their new year a sweet one. Their coordinator, Ms. Veronica Beskin wrote afterwards: “Thank you for providing an educational and truly unique way for us to bring in the new year. :)” We are delighted that diverse organizations in our community can take advantage of the great resources available at our bee research facility.

June 2014

Texas Beekeepers Association Summer Clinic

Photo is loading

January 2014

ABRC, Omni Hotel, San Antonio, TX, 10-11 Jan 2014

Here are a few pictures from our very successful American Bee Research Conference, which was held in conjunction with the Annual Convention of the American Honey Producers Association in San Antonio, TX

Photo is loadingPhoto is loading

Dr Tom Seeley, Professor of Biology at Cornell University, giving the Keynote Speech on "Swarm Intelligence in Honey Bees"

Photo is loadingState Apiary Inspectors from Florida, Ontario (Canada), and Virginia

Photo is loadingResults form the Bee Informed Partnership 

 

Photo is loadingOur own Dr. Bob Couson presenting on the new data logging system for the re-vamped Texas Apiary Inspection Service

Photo is loadingState representatives of project NC1173, which is a National initiative by the USDA to improve bee health

Photo is loading Photo is loadingPoster session during the ABRC

Photo is loadingHaving a nice meal after a long and fruitful ABRC

 

August and September 2013:
Honey Bee Label Contest

In August 2013 the Honey Bee Research Program held a contest to design the logo for the new Aggie Honey™.  We extended the invitation to the entire TAMU community and the response was very positive.  We received a total of 21 entries, all very creative and beautiful.  We wanted to thank those who participated by sharing their entries on our website (below, in alphabetical order).  The winner of this year’s contest was Ms. Madison Suhr, an undergraduate student in the Visualizations Department.  Congratulations to Madison, and thank you ALL who participated in this successful event!! Below are all the entries that were entered:

Madison Suhr's winning entry:

Madison Suhr winner entry

Click here to see the other entries.

August and September 2013:
Honey Harvesting and Bottling Events

Over a dozen members of the Texas A&M University Honey Bee Lab and the Department of Entomology participated in our first annual honey harvesting gathering in August 2013.  We were later helped by members of the Entomology Graduate Student Association members at a honey bottling event in September 2013.  Here are some pictures from both events:

Crew ready to pull honey from hivesCrew ready to pull honey from hives

Smoking the hives before reaching for the honey supers


Pulling honey frames from our Riverside apiary

Uncapping the honey cells before the honey extraction

Getting ready to place frames into the honey extractor

Members of the EGSO bottling and labeling honey

Members of the EGSO plus our own undergraduate research assistant, Alex Martinez (left) modeling the final product: the new Aggie Honey!!!

June 10-12 2013:

Welder Wildlife Refuge Feral Bee Collection Trip

In June 2013 a group of 9 researchers, including Dr. Coulson, myself, and members from both labs, went on a field collection trip to the Welder Wildlife Refuge near Sinton, TX.  Some of you might remember that location during the process of Africanization of our feral honey bee population in Texas.  The work by Alice Pinto et al. at the Welder Wildlife Refuge showed that by the end of the 1990s, feral honey bees at this refuge had become a “hybrid swarm,” with some colonies maintaining the European subspecies, while others having become Africanized.  The last of such surveys was conducted in 2001, so this year we embarked on the adventure of going back to Welder in search for feral colonies.  To our surprise, only one third of the surveyed post oaks that were once occupied by honey bees were now deserted, perhaps due to the severe drought that the region went through in 2011.  Despite the low numbers of occupied trees, we managed to collect bee samples from all the trees that were occupied, and we now have another REU student, Cassandra Sanabria from the University of Miami, conducting the genetic analyses necessary to determine what proportion of the feral honey bee population at the Welder Wildlife Refuge remains Africanized, and whether there are still European honey bees in that part of the state.  

 

June 1, 2013:

Texas Beekeepers Association Summer Clinic in Rogers, TX on 1 June 2013 at Walker Honey Farm and Meadery

Texas Beekeepers Association Summer Clinic in Rogers, TX on 1 June 2013 at Walker Honey Farm and Meadery

Mr. Clint Walker, owner of Walker Honey Farm and Dancing Bee Meadery (in white shirt) welcoming attendants to the TBA Summer Clinic on 1 June 2013.  

 

Mr. Clint Walker explaining the day's agenda

Mr. Clint Walker explaining the day's agenda

There were over 220 beekeepers in attendance at the summer clinic.

There were over 220 beekeepers in attendance at the summer clinic.

The Texas Honey Queen was also there! Ms. Shelby Kilpatrick will be attending Texas A&M University this Fall. 

The Texas Honey Queen was also there! Ms. Shelby Kilpatrick will be attending Texas A&M University this Fall. 

Dr. David Ragsdale, Head of the Department of Entomology at TAMU, was also in attendance with his wife, along with the East Texas Beekeepers Association honey queen

Dr. David Ragsdale, Head of the Department of Entomology at TAMU, was also in attendance with his wife, along with the East Texas Beekeepers Association honey queen

Dr. Rangel spoke to the group on honey bee reproductive biology. The lectures were given inside the new wine cellar that will store the Dancing Bee meads

Dr. Rangel spoke to the group on honey bee reproductive biology. The lectures were given inside the new wine cellar that will store the Dancing Bee meads

 

Dr. Rangel visiting with the event organizer, Mr. Jimmie Oakley inside the retail store

Dr. Rangel visiting with the event organizer, Mr. Jimmie Oakley inside the retail store

Beekeepers from the Williamson County Area teaching others on the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of Varroa mites

Beekeepers from the Williamson County Area teaching others on the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of Varroa mites

Dr. Rangel interacting with the 2013 East Texas Beekeepers Association honey queen and princess

Dr. Rangel interacting with the 2013 East Texas Beekeepers Association honey queen and princess

 

May 8, 2013:

Cell frame with developing honey bee queens


Ms. Sue Cobey training us to artificially inseminate experimental honey bee queens

Schley artificial insemination apparatus to inseminate honey bee queens

Flight cage with drones used to inseminate honey bee queens

Flight cage with drones used to inseminate honey bee queens

Updates:

This April, Dr. John G. Thomas visited the Riverside Bee Lab to meet our new members and see our new apiary.  
From left to right:  Jason Gould,Chelsea Gould, Romeo Montalvo, Neeta Parajulee, Dr. John Thomas, and ET Ash

 

Bill Baxter
Apiary inspector Bill Baxter helping us inspect
our newly-acquired honey bee colonies

Bill Baxter
2.  Our beekeeper, Mr. ET Ash, putting hive
boxes together in our work station

Bill Baxter
3.  Research assistant, Ms. Neeta Parajulee, painting new hive parts

Mating Yard
4.  Our new mating yard

Mating Yard
5.  Close up of our new mating yard

New Apiary
6.  Our newly created apiary (as of March 8th, 2013)

Mating Yard
7. Research assistant, Mr. Romeo Montalvo, painting new hive components