Social media abuzz about how to breed super queen bees
Joe Deluca, a Web manager for the Eberly College of Science at Penn State, is one of many amateur beekeepers within the state who is excited about Grozinger’s research and its possible social networking applications.
“I could see a lot of people making use of those resources … we certainly would consume that type of stuff if it was produced,” Deluca said.
Deluca is already very much aware of the beekeeping resources that currently exist on the Internet. In his free time, he keeps a blog on his Penn State provided Web space that showcases what he learned at the Queen Rearing Workshop.
There are also online webinars provided by Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, and the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium in partnership with Penn State.
“They have a video section on their website,” Deluca said. “So whenever they have these webinars they record them so we can go back and check them out later. You might not be ready for raising queens yet in your second year, but maybe a year later you’ll say ‘Hey I’m ready to start raising queens.’ You can go back to that library and listen to that webinar again.”
Invaluable resources like these are similar to what Grozinger and her colleagues hope to produce, enabling any party with an interest in pollinator-sustainability to contribute to a new wave of beekeeping revival.
Though the cause of CCD is uncertain, it is clear a variety of factors are likely contributing to the overall problem. Some of these factors are parasites such as the varroa destructor mites, smaller unicellular pathogens like American foulbrood and Nosema apis, malnutrition, pesticides and possibly climate change.
Because the list of threats to the domesticated honey bees is constantly evolving, it is only logical that the goal of the Penn State Queen Rearing Workshop is to bring an unnatural acceleration to the natural selection of our pollinating allies. With the power of digital communication, Grozinger will continue to spread her department’s techniques.
“It won’t be easy, and it will require a large enough group of beekeepers that are cooperating with each other. It is a really long-term process, but I think that it has a huge potential in rebuilding our bee population,” Grozinger said.