- Animals: bees
- Animal Production: feed/forage, housing, parasite control
- Education and Training: farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
- Pest Management: biological control
Honeybees and the beekeeping industry face serious threats from diseases and imported and treatment-resistant pests. The Zia Queenbee Co. of Velarde, New Mexico, wants to use its Farmer/Rancher grant to find solutions for beekeepers faced with these threats.
The Southwest Survivor Queenbee Project will select queenbees that exhibit gentleness, high production and disease and pest resistance without the use of commercial medications. The best queenbees will be selected to produce regionally superior queenbees.
These will first be distributed to beekeepers participating in the project and then across the region. Participating beekeepers will assess colony weight, honey and pollen production, manageability and heartiness. Conclusions will then be summarized and protocol will be set up to continue rearing these superior bees. Participating beekeepers that re-queen with the quality stock will integrate regionally sound genetics into their management, which will spread quality and save money on out-of-state purchase of potentially pest- or disease-ridden honeybees.