A company that makes a high-tech hive that can pollinate more than 1 million acres of farmland is opening up the breeding market for growers who want to be part of the global ag industry.
The North American Honey Bee Industry Association, or NAMBIA, plans to open its first honeybee breeding facility in Portland, Ore., in the coming months, said Paul J. McKean, the group’s president and CEO.
The company will provide a high level of scientific information and support to the public, he said, adding that its goal is to create a breeding program that “provides the best quality of honey bee for the U.S. and Canada, where we have the highest concentration of the bees in North America.”
For decades, beekeepers have been able to breed honey bees in their own backyard, but there has been little incentive for beekeepers to breed in large numbers.
It’s a job that’s difficult to do because of the cost, a lot of honey and also the limited habitat.
The industry is estimated to employ more than 2.5 million people worldwide, but according to NAMBEA, there are just 200 beekeepers in the U!
A number of companies, including Honeybee International and New England Honey Beekeepers, are considering expanding into the breeding business.
Honeybee breeders can save money by using smaller hives and fewer workers, but they also must be mindful of pollination issues.
The American Honey Board, the trade association for beekeeping organizations, estimated that there are fewer than 2,000 commercial honey beekeepers worldwide, most of whom have their hives located in state or national parks or forests.
NAMBIS has already seen a surge in demand from growers wanting to expand their hive populations.
It estimates that there were 1.5 billion hives in the United States in 2015, up from about 1.2 billion in 2014.
As the U’s honey bee population has recovered from the devastating 2008-2009 bee infestation, the U has been able not only to breed more honeybees but also to expand its own population of the insects.
“With this new breeding opportunity, we want to provide the best possible breeding opportunity for our growers in the area, and it’s important that we do that with a bee that is genetically diverse,” McKeon said.
In addition to the North American honey bee, NAMBITA also operates a honey bee breeding program in Canada.
The group is also working with farmers in Florida to increase the number of colonies it breeds in their state, which is about the size of Rhode Island.
“We have an abundance of beekeepers, and we’re hoping to get a very large amount of bees,” Mckean said.
To get the best honey bee from the NAMPIA breeding facility, McKeons and his team will have to get bees from around the world.
“We’re looking at the top 100 countries that have a lot more than just the U of A, so we’ll be looking at other countries, too,” McKeeans said.
“But we have to go to some places where the bees are bred.
The Oregon beekeeper, J.T. Staley, is hopeful that he will be able to continue breeding for another year at his farm in southern Oregon. “
This is an exciting time in beekeeping for us because it’s been a slow process, but we’re seeing an explosion of the honey bee in the last decade, which I think is very exciting,” McKennan said, “and we think that it’s going to continue to expand over time.”
The Oregon beekeeper, J.T. Staley, is hopeful that he will be able to continue breeding for another year at his farm in southern Oregon.
He said he and his husband, Robert, had to change the hive, which had been in place for 20 years, when the U bee was first detected.
Staly is also trying to get more honey bees from California, which has a much smaller population of honey bees.
“I have a really strong opinion about this hive being a breeding site for U bees,” Staley said.
He said he was surprised that his bees had survived the infestation in Oregon and that he was optimistic that they would be able, if they had been around longer, to reproduce.
“They’re pretty easy to breed,” Staly said.
“My question is, when are you going to get them?”
McKeans said he hopes to get to know the hives of the growers and learn how they were affected by the U Bee infestation.
“It’s a difficult problem to address, but it’s one we’re working hard on,” he said.
McKean said that the North America honey bee is one of several critical honey bees that are critical for the health of many plants.
For example, the California red clover is one species that is susceptible to the U-bond disease,