Welcome to the Texas A&M Apiculture website!
The Texas A&M University Apiculture program focuses on research and teaching regarding honey bee biology and management. Our research interests revolve around the behavioral ecology of honey bee colonies, as well as pollination and beekeeping practices.
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I am always incredibly proud of all members of the lab. But I was deeply touched and reminded about the value of having such an amazing group of people working with me when I watched a video recorded by Kade Flynn and Daniel Carrasco, students at the A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, TX. The video, simply titled “Bee People” is a short documentary of very high quality (for the level of expertise of the students) and interesting content about honey bees and the people that keep them either as a business avenue, or for the love of the honey bee, or a combination of both. You can watch the video at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5M1DTLMuQWockpYa3NWRmZ1Sms/view I really recommend you watch it, it will move you to the core!
The rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) is the first bumble bee to be placed in the Endangered Species Act in the United States.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced in early January that the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) is “now balancing on the brink of extinction,” with a population that once was thriving having declined 87%, according to the announcement. This news comes only a few months after the first ever bees were placed on the endangered species list in the U.S. In September 2016, seven species of the solitary yellow-faced bees in the genus Hylaeus received protection in their native land of Hawaii under the Endangered Species Act. In the official reports issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Federal Registry, the Endangered Species Act can determine that a species is endangered or threatened based on any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.” They determined that these bee species are experiencing population declines as a result of the following threats:
- “Habitat loss and degradation due to urbanization; nonnative feral ungulates (hoofed mammals, e.g., pigs, goats, axis deer, black-tailed deer, mouflon, and cattle); nonnative plants; wildfire; and water extraction.
- Predation or herbivory by nonnative feral ungulates, rats, slugs, bullfrogs, Jackson’s chameleons, ants, and wasps.
- Stochastic events such as landslides, flooding, drought, tsunami, and hurricanes.
- Human activities such as recreational use of anchialine pools, dumping of nonnative fish and trash into anchialine pools, and manmade structures and artificial lighting.
- Vulnerability to extinction due to small numbers of individuals and occurrences and lack of regeneration.
- Competition with nonnative plants and nonnative invertebrates.”
Likewise, the Fish and Wildlife Service listed ways in which the public can help to stop the bees’ decline, including planting native flowers, limiting or avoiding the use of pesticides, and fostering “native landscapes and leave grass and garden plants uncut after summer to provide habitat for overwintering bees.” One small step toward helping to preserve our bee diversity, which will naturally also help the health of managed honey bees around the country.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS For the Austin 6th Annual Beekeeping Seminar !!!!! Jan. 21st 2017!!
Where: J.J. Pickle Research Campus, 10100 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78758
What: Austin 6th Annual Beekeeping Seminar
Who: Sponsor: The Austin Area Beekeepers Association
Why: The mission of this daylong seminar is to educate people of all experience levels in sustainable bee husbandry and to provide funding for The Texas A&M Honey Bee Lab.
Description: This is a daylong seminar offering 6 different educational presentations running concurrently in each time slot throughout the day. This will provide many beginning and advanced subjects to choose from. A separate beginner track has been formatted covering a variety of startup topics for soon to be or very new beekeepers.
Cost: $50 pre-reg. until 11/30/16. $60 normal reg.
For more information, see the flier at: https://honeybeelab.tamu.edu/Seminar Flyer2017Final.pdf
THE 2ND ANNUAL “ART OF QUEEN REARING WORKSHOP” WITH SUE COBEY AND HONEY BEE LAB STAFF, SATURDAY, 7 MAY 2016. REGISTRATION CLOSES ON FRIDAY, 22 APRIL 2016 AND WILL BE ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS FOR PAID REGISTRANTS.
Below please find a PDF advertising, THE ART OF QUEEN REARING, an all-day event put together by the Texas A&M University Honey Bee Lab, and led by world-renown Sue Cobey, who will be sharing with us her expertise on queen rearing and giving a demonstration on instrumental insemination of queens, as time and weather permit.
The cost of registration is $125. Payment includes lunch, binder with notes, and queen rearing goodies!! Space is limited to the first 50 people that register and pay by 22 APRIL 2016.
Instructions for registration:
1. Send email of intent as soon as possible to Liz Walsh at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Once you receive a confirmation e-mail, send this registration form and payment to secure spot
3. Send payment and this registration form to secure your spot by 22 April 2016
4. Only the first 50 paid registrants will be able to participate in this year’s workshop
5. Late registration, or registration by those that were not confirmed via email might not be able to attend and their checks will be returned. We can only accept the first 50 people that pay.
6. Those that have either taken this course before or do not plan or rearing queens do not qualify.
Aggie Honey Is Back and Now Available at Rosenthal!
Aggie Honey is now on sale at the Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center. Prices are: $12.00 for a 16 ounce jar and $7.00 for a 5.5 ounce jar. Limit 6 jars per person per day.
Rosenthal can now deliver Aggie Honey anywhere in the United States. To place an order, please call Rosenthal at 979-845-5651 or visit their website at: http://agrilife.org/rosenthal/
Our honey is produced at the John G. Thomas Honey Bee Facility Research Apiary on TAMU’s Riverside Campus, an all proceeds from its sales go toward funding our ongoing research program. The Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center is located at 600 John Kimbrough Boulevard in College Station.
For more information, contact Rosenthal at 979-845-5651 or at email@example.com.
Rangel Lab Graduate Students Liz Walsh, Pierre Lau, and Adrian Fisher Received 2015 TBA Student Scholarships
They were honored at the 2015 Texas Beekeepers Association annual convention held October 30-31 in Belton, Texas. For more information, visit http://texasbeekeepers.org/annual-convention-2015/ .
Congratulations Adrian Fisher!!
Doctoral Student Adrian Fisher II was just notified that he is one of five students receiving this year’s Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees Student Award. The award consists of a $2,000 stipend and an all-expenses paid to travel to the 2016 American Beekeeping Federation meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
for more information about the Foundation, visit http://preservationofhoneybees.org/about-us
Congratulations Liz Walsh!!
Ph.D. student Liz Walsh was one of two Texas A&M students to receive top awards at the 2015. Alltech Young Scientist research competition! She received second place out of 9,000+ students from all across the world at the global competition!! Congratulations Liz!!
Aggie Honey Sold Out Until Further Notice
We have officially SOLD OUT the Aggie Honey until further notice. Thank you ALL for making this such a successful endeavor!!! I will let you know if and when we get some more bottled!
Aggie Honey Sales Successful!
The new Aggie Honey was launched at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Tailgate on 19 October 2013. The initiative has been very well received,
Our honey is produced at the John G. Thomas Honey Bee Facility Research Apiary on TAMU’s Riverside Campus, an all proceeds from its sales go toward funding our ongoing research program. For more information on the new initiative, visit: http://today.agrilife.org/2013/10/17/aggie-honey-makes-its-debut/
Thank you very much to all who have purchased honey and made this a very successful initiative. Go get your honey and go gig’em!!
Winner of Honey Label Contest Announced
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!! Click to see the larger image.