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ND Department of Agriculture seeks proposals for bee research

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The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is seeking grant proposals for research into finding practical solutions to honey bee health issues. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says applicants can submit proposals for several research priorities including Varroa mite controls, viruses, pathogens, and nutrition to enhance hive health and survival.

"We also have been looking at proposals that look at genetic predispositioning. What they found over a period of time is, when you look at queen bees, they carry certain genetic materiel with them that when passed on, really helps with honey bee health. For example, grooming. If you see a certain gene that helps with the grooming side of it, it does a much better job with control of Varroa mites and also their ability to be more immune towards certain diseases, certain viruses, certain bacteria. "

Goehring says the research will have direct benefits for North Dakota farmers and honey producers.

"When you look across the world, look across the country, it's been broadly recognized that 30% of all of the food that we consume and food that is grown needs pollinators. Being the state's largest apiary industry and the largest honey producer in the nation, it's a good place to do the research, it's a good place to try to address some of these issues, because it helps everybody as a whole and it really helps our beekeepers in the honey industry."

Grant applications must be received by Sept. 15th.