The North Carolina State University Apiculture Program, colloquially known as the Bee Lab, focuses on furthering understanding of honey bee biology and improving bee management. They are involved in experiments that range from highly technical and theoretical to very applied and useful for the average beekeeper. Their program serves the needs of the university and general public by providing extension services and instruction built on a foundation of basic and applied research.
NCSBA Support of the Bee Lab
- NCSBA created the Apiculture Science Fund to support beekeeping research at NCSU in 1976. They continue to donate funds and equipment annually.
In 1997, the NC General Assembly approves the NCSBA request for additional funding of NCDA and NCSU beekeeping programs
- Between 2017 and 2018, over $20,000 was donated in order for the Bee Lab to help purchase a new bee truck.
- Ongoing efforts to secure $2.6M in funding for a new field research facility.
Bee Lab Support of Beekeepers
- Instigated the North Carolina Master Beekeeper program in 1982 until 2011 when the NCSBA took over the program
- Helped to create, oversee, and implement the “NC Africanized Bee Plan” with the NCDA&CS Apiary Services program and offers Africanized Honey Bee testing
- Conducted the 2005 New Beekeeper Cost-sharing Program, funded by the Golden LEAF, to bolster the honey bee population in the state by helping to attract new people to beekeeping
- Were original participating members of the CCD Working Group, a consortium of apiculture extension and research scientists formed to define and address the phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder. The result has been a profound increase in public awareness about the importance of honey bees and beekeeping as a result of intense and ongoing media coverage of CCD
- Many years of research on apiary science in North Carolina, with a focused concentration on honey bee queens and improving their quality in order to make colonies more healthy and productive
- In 2010-2011, initiative the first ‘Born & Bred in NC’ initiative to train beekeepers in queen rearing and bee breeding. This effort is now being continued by the NCSBA and volunteer members
- Manages BEES, the Beekeeper Education & Engagement System, an online system of courses aimed to improve beekeeper knowledge and skills
- Publishes the quarterly ‘Wolfpack Waggle’ newsletter about current projects of the Bee Lab, our latest publications and research findings, and other announcements from the program
- The Bee Lab’s Queen & Disease Clinic tests the reproductive quality of queens and drones, provides standard and apiary pathogen screening to identify disease and parasites, offers mitotyping to identify Africanized Honey bees, and conducts genotyping to identify the genetic diversity of colonies and operations—all to assist beekeepers in making science-based informed decisions about their management to improve their operations
Interested in Helping the Bee Lab?
- Donate directly to the program online at: go.ncsu.edu/apiculture.
- Become a member of the “Swarm Collective” to sign up for volunteer opportunities and citizen science projects.
- Follow @NCSUApiculture on Twitter, FaceBook, and Instagram, and sign up on our email listserv.
- Invite your local officials, State Representative, and State Senator to your local chapter meetings to discuss the importance of honey bees and apiculture science, and to secure support for the new facility initiative.