93 Dr. Elina L Niño – Pollinating California Almonds (in English)

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Speaker 1: From the Oregon State University Extension Service, this is Pollination, a podcast that tells the stories of researchers, land managers, and concerned citizens making bold strides to improve the health of pollinators. I'm your host, Dr. Adoni Melopoulos, assistant professor in pollinator health in the Department of Horticulture. The pollination of California almonds is the largest pollination event anywhere in the planet, and this pollination is just concluded and I thought it'd be a great opportunity to catch up with Dr. Elina Elnino, who is the Apoculture Extension Specialist and a researcher at the University of California Davis. In this episode, we're going to hear a lot about what growers are doing to make this pollination easier, get a catch up on how this last season went, and also look in a little bit more to the kind of quality and character of beekeeping in California. So I hope you enjoy this episode. Today, I'm in beautiful San Diego, sitting across from Dr. Elina Nino. Welcome to pollination. Thank you. It's so nice to be in California.

Speaker 2: It is beautiful to be in Southern California.

Speaker 1: And of course, you're at UC Davis. You're sort of the person in charge of honeybees, and we've just concluded the largest pollination event on the planet, and you were around it. Tell us about almond pollination.

Speaker 2: Almond pollination, and I just want to say it's nice of you to say that I'm in charge of honeybees. I wish I were.

Speaker 1: Then I would tell them to behave. Tell them to behave better. But yes, so the almond pollination has concluded. I do know that there are still some colonies in the almond orchards, not necessarily pollinating, but they're stuck there because of the rains that we've had, so people can necessarily get the colonies out.

But almost all are going to be out pretty soon. And this year has been particularly challenging, I would say, because there were a lot of beekeepers who have lost colonies in high numbers.

Speaker 2: A lot more than I think anybody was wanting to not hope for, I guess. So probably I've heard some beekeepers who've said up to 90% of their colonies were lost.

Speaker 1: So the almond growers must have been really nervous this year.

Speaker 2: Yeah, almond growers were really nervous this year. I know that there was a lot of panic, I guess, but I think it's really difficult to judge anything until you get the yield reports back.

But there were not a lot of sunny days, not a lot of warm days. So folks are concerned about the level of pollination that's happened. So everybody's keeping their fingers crossed, hoping for the best. But I'm hopeful that it wasn't as bad as we all think it was because there are a lot of different varieties that bloom at different times. So hopefully some of that corrected for the weather that we've had. And combined again with the losses, high losses of colonies, I'm just hoping that we had enough.

Speaker 1: I want to circle back around to those losses, but you have had wet years in the past. How difficult was it for the beekeepers to move around and get in and out of orchards this year?

Speaker 2: That's one of the bigger issues is that you really can drive the truck in. If it's really wet and muddy, you can ruin the actual ground in the orchard. And that's not good for the grower, obviously. And it's really difficult to place colonies anywhere except on the edges. Even if you wanted to put any colonies sort of inside towards the center, it makes it a little bit more difficult to do that efficiently. So it's a challenge. And some of the areas were just flooded. I mean, I've seen colonies and boxes just twirling inside a flooded orchard, which is not good.

Speaker 1: I imagine for other crops in the US, at least if there's a winter loss, there's an opportunity to build the stocks up, to split the colonies to retool. But I guess when you go into almond pollination, you're sort of stuck with what you have coming out of winter.

Speaker 2: That's pretty much, yeah, that said, but the beekeepers do really, if they can, they really do try and work really hard to get those colonies up. There's a lot more interest now in overwintering storage as well, which makes it a little bit easier, I guess, to equalize and standardize the colonies coming out. It's a little bit easier to actually manage them within this storage. So you have them at the same temperature, presumably you might be able to feed them as well earlier.

So all of that plays a role. And I do know some beekeepers who have actually had their colonies in storage overwinter, and they did not have high losses. Oh, is that right? I mean, this is, you know, this is not exactly correct signs to be doing these are sort of anecdotal, but I've definitely heard of colonies coming out of winter storage in potato sheds that we're doing pretty well.

Speaker 1: And we should say the reason we're both in San Diego is for the Entomological Society of America Pacific Branch Meeting. And we did hear a talk from Brandon Hopkins at WSU, looking at how putting bees into these storage areas may help them with survival.

Speaker 2: Yes, yes. And I definitely know that there are a lot of beekeepers very interested in doing something like this from, you know, down in Southern California, or I guess here in Southern California, all the way up to, you know, Midwest. So there's a lot of interest in looking at overwintering storage. And one big benefit of that would be, for example, for us, especially where the weather is really warm, there's no break in brood cycle. So putting colonies into storage where you can create this artificial break in brood cycle might actually help with veromite control as well. Okay. Veromite management.

Speaker 1: Well, and I guess just to round this part out, you know, one thing that people, you know, when people are looking at why they had unusual losses, I know we've had Dr. Seguili on a past episode who mentioned last summer in Oregon, for example, we were seeing really high levels of mites. Veromites really do the damages cause at the end of summer must be one consideration in looking at these losses.

Speaker 2: Absolutely. And this is why I do definitely say that these mites should be managed in some way. I don't know that it's really a sound practice to just leave the bees be. I know there's a lot of talk about letting the natural selection do its thing, but we have to think back at what we're doing. We're no longer natural when we put the colonies in the hive, right? When we put the bee colony into hive, it's no longer considered to be in my mind natural.

So I think they definitely need some help in there. You'll hear many bee keepers talking about dogs, for example, if a dog has fleas, will you take it to the vet or will you let it take care of itself, right? No, you're probably going to go take the dog to the vet to get rid of the fleas because they're just at this point where they're not necessarily capable of taking care of themselves. So the same way with bees, it will probably take what I mean, obviously there are examples of natural selection doing its thing, but it would take, I think, a long, well, take a longer time to get to that point. And I can only envision letting all the bees in the country die and not having necessarily sufficient pollination. Even if we ended up with some food, I can only imagine that food, the nuts, the vegetables, the fruits, the prices would go up.

So I always go back to thinking about different socioeconomic groups and those folks who might not even be able to afford proper food right now, if those prices would skyrocket, what would happen then?

Speaker 1: Not to mention the bee keepers

Speaker 2: who you know, bee colony requires a bee keeper who makes money to be able to reinvest in. And higher spes, so does the different cropping industries as well, right? Higher people, they need bees, they produce crops, they hire people who depend on those crops to support their families.

So it is a complex issue with colony losses. And of course, we always think about native bees as well. But there's no doubt in my mind that there is a way to do breeding in a proper way, I think, without kind of putting the agriculture at risk.

Speaker 1: You know, let's come around to because being the person's overseeing and kind of thinking about problems of California bee keepers coming back to queen production, so the major source of this region has made queens for a lot of us. I always love listening to you talk because as a really good extension researcher, you're really looking at real practical solutions and you do a lot of different things. But the most recent thing that I heard you talk about was assessing, and we've heard a lot about this in Oregon, these programs that go into these almond orchards and plant forage to help support the bees. And you know, at least if they're coming in a little bit weak, giving them a little bit of a boost, you tell us a little bit about, first of all, the actual programs in place for almond growers to get forage into their orchards.

Speaker 2: That's right. So I've partnered up with Neil Williams, because obviously he's been the pollination biologist, ecologist for a lot longer than I am. Doesn't mean that he's older.

Speaker 1: I hope he doesn't listen to that. It doesn't mean that he's that old. I hope he's not listening to this, but he has been really kind enough to include me in some of the research that he's been doing and incorporate honey bees and looking at how these supplemental forage plantings can actually boost the colony health. So what we've been doing in my lab is tracking these supplement, we're tracking these colonies that were placed into almond orchards that had mustard plantings associated with them. And what we saw over the two years that we've been actually doing this project is, well, probably not that surprisingly, that the colony size in terms of the adult bee population and brood population increases. In the first year, we saw that directly in the mustard crop, mustard associated colonies, I guess, it's a mouthful to say this.

Bustard associated crops, we saw increase in colony strength, which is beneficial to the bee keeper and also beneficial to the grower because the more brood produced, you presumably need more pollen, so you will go for it. And then later on, we tracked these colonies, obviously, for various parameters like veroamides and viral loads. And we also looked at their mortality and survivorship.

And I think that's really what the beekeepers are concerned with, what happens long term. So we took these colonies out all the way to November. I have to go back and do sort of a survey this year to just see, because we know what the colonies are to see how they were doing.

But at November, the colonies that were in mustard, so almond orchards with mustard, had higher survivorship and they actually were stronger at that point in the year. Really? That's months later. That's months later. And so they still this legacy of this start of having the mustard.

Speaker 2: Seemingly because they came back out of the orchard and they came back into the same spot, into the stationary area you see Davis. So seemingly that would be what was causing the up in strength and also survivorship.

Speaker 1: So it looks like there's these real benefits, lasting benefits to bee colonies. If growers choose to put these mustard plants, which I imagine everybody can think of like just letting your, you know, when you take your cabbage and you let it go to seed, it's these nice yellow flowers.

There are these long term benefits. But how do growers, like why would growers even put this into their crop? They must first of all be concerned about paying for the seeds. And the second one is, but aren't they going to go to the mustard and not my almonds?

Speaker 2: Yeah, so there's been, I mean, that's a valid question and I get it all the time. That's not the question. They will go into mustard, but they also will not neglect almond pollen. There's a lot more almond pollen out there for them than mustard, right? And the nectar also, the almond's produced nectar as well. So what happens is almond pollen comes in in the morning, the bees will go out, sort of strip the pollen in the afternoon, they can then go into mustard. So it really doesn't affect the yield as was done by Ola London and some of the other colleagues of his. Doesn't seem like there's a negative effect of putting these supplemental plantings in. All right.

Speaker 1: I thought I saw, I wrote in my little book, but maybe I didn't have coffee this morning, that the bees in the mustard plots, there were more bees in the orchard. So it seemed like it almost kept the bees in the orchard. Is that the, exactly.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So it wasn't just like neutral, but there might have been even been a positive effect for the almonds. There seem to have been a positive effect, you know, and this is still, we're working on, you know, processing this data, but it looks like there's positive effect on basically keeping the bees in the orchard, instead of, I don't know, the bees going and pollinating your neighbor's orchard, right? But it's sort of keeping the bees there. Yeah, it's kind of cool. All right. So, and also you mentioned the programs for the growers.

Speaker 1: So one that probably people have heard of for growers, there's a program through Project Apes M called Seeds for Bees and you can contact Billy Sink. They provide free seeds up to a certain point, obviously, and you can talk to them and they can walk you through the whole planting process, decide on what seeds might be or what mixes might be good for you. And the beekeeper is the beekeepers would obviously like you to do that.

But as a grower, you might benefit because in some cases, first of all, beekeepers have offered discounts for rentals of the hives in orchards that do have these supplemental plantings. So that's one money talks, right? Yeah. Secondly, if the colonies are going out of almonds healthier and they can actually survive better, it could lead to stabilization of prices, right? Oh, yeah, because this year, the growers must have experienced, I've heard stories, I don't know if this is true, that they were accepting colonies that might have been below graded in a typical year. Yes. And if they didn't have to, if there was a good supply of healthy colonies, that would help them.

Speaker 2: Yes. So that could definitely, I mean, I think both can benefit both beekeepers and growers can benefit from those supplemental plantings. And lastly, I think there's some work now being done also at UC Davis, Emily Godin, a professor, she's doing work on looking at how these pollinator plantings actually help support soil health, water retention. So in addition to providing just food for bees, I think growers would probably like to see how the plantings can actually benefit them in the orchard directly.

Speaker 1: I guess a lot of those muster plants are biofumigants, they really, really do help soil health. Exactly. Okay, so let me get this straight. So you're a California almond grower, you call Billy's Sink at Project Apes M, and he comes by and he tells you, listen, this is how is there experience, how to put this stuff in, and we're going to provide the seed. It seems real easy.

Speaker 2: Well, but the grower does need to actually plant the seeds because it is up to the grower, whether to plant or not, or to actually plant the seeds.

Speaker 1: And these must be done like in December or something.

Speaker 2: They're usually done November, December. Okay. Of course, if you plan them later, then that's great, but they might not do that much for bees because by the time they actually bloom sufficiently, the bees might be gone.

Speaker 1: Okay, so these plants are slowly growing through the winter, and then they pop up and bolt and bloom just as the bees are coming in. Exactly.

Speaker 2: What a great system. I know, I agree. Just have to figure out which other plants we can incorporate to have even more diversity. And that's what some of the work that Neil was talking about, Neil Williams today.

Speaker 1: Oh, yeah, we've got to get Neil on because he's been working with wildflowers where these mustards are really kind of cover crop plants that are used all across the U.S. for cover crops. Neil's focusing on native plants.

Speaker 2: Yes. Native bees that come. Native plants and bringing in or sort of keeping the native bees and wild bees there in place with the native plants.

Speaker 1: Well let's take a quick break. An announcement from the seagull. Sorry, I imagine we have some listeners in the Midwest who just like, I hate this show.

Speaker 2: You're looking at the ocean enjoying the sun.

Speaker 1: But as you can hear, there are all these airplanes. Just get on an airplane. You could join us here and you know, join this pollination. We can do a live stadium audience. Okay, anyways, let's take a quick break. I want to come back and just talk a little bit briefly about queen production in California. Where are these queen breeders?

Speaker 2: So the queen breeders are around, I guess, Chico area. It's about two hours north of UC Davis. That might be a little bit more familiar with you. There are a lot of beekeepers and breeders up there who have been bee breeders and queen producers for generations.

Right. So I think there's first of all, associated land, right? So there's land there for them to put the bees. It seems to be pretty clean area.

So not a lot of issues with necessarily maybe agricultural sprays and some of the protected or protected areas. So they've been pretty successful up there. I believe Sucoby has said that back in 2010 that they were producing over a million queens per year combined.

Speaker 1: Yes. So if you put that into perspective, thinking about, well, presumably we have about 2.5 million colonies in the country that's, you know, almost more than a third of queens, presumably are coming from Northern California. And then they do import into or export, I guess, into Canada as well, some of them. So they've been doing a really good job.

I think they're really good at tracking their colonies, tracking their traits that they're interested in preserving. And as I said, we've always had really good luck with the bees from Northern California to plug for them, although I'm not supposed to be doing that. No, no plug. It's a worthwhile plug.

That's right. I am an impartial Canadian who's had to deal with queens from various places. And I really have to say the queens that we've got from Hawaii and Northern California are the top choices.

Actually, there's been surveys of this done. We really preferred getting them from those sources because we would get a reliable product. The queens were always well-mated. The genetics were stable. There wasn't a lot of swings and some producing areas you get this one year and this another year. It was just a consistent queen.

Speaker 2: Yes. And I think that actually has something to do with it as well in terms of being well-mated because there is a large group of them up there. So when you think about congregation areas, it's not like one breeder has a specific congregation area for their queens. I'm sure there's some mixing going on too, but they will make sure that there's plenty of drones out there for everybody to get made. I'm sure that has to do with quality of the queens as well. You're totally right. Yeah, they're very gentle too, which is a big plus.

Speaker 1: We were talking over lunch that there was this research. I think it was really great. Jeff Pettis and Marta Guarnagh who are looking at trying to ask this question. People are concerned about queens that aren't performing well and it's always assumed that, oh, it's because they haven't been mated properly or there's something there and they discovered something pretty remarkable.

Speaker 2: Yes, it seems like the queens are mated well. However, what happens is when if you don't live in Northern California and want to buy a queen, then that queen gets shipped to you as a package via UPS most of the time. So it's a big actually shipping business. So the queens are shipped to you and during the shipping what sometimes would happen is temperature fluctuation.

All right, of course. So exactly what Jeff and Marta have done. They've actually put the little temperature data sensors inside the shipping containers of the queens and they basically just shipped them like a normal queen would be shipped. And they found that extreme temperatures can actually kill sperm within the sperm aphthika of a queen.

Speaker 1: So you get a queen, she looks fine, she's walking around normal, but her sperm aphthika just doesn't have as many viable sperm or sperm. Okay.

Speaker 2: To fertilize the eggs. They produce fruit. So that is definitely something that has been talked about actually for a little while now and I know that some papers that just came out as well and definitely that brings up a question of how can we improve potentially the shipping? So I go to the bee breeders meetings, almost every one of them I think I've been to and this comes up often working with UPS and UPS has been from what I can see is an outsider. They've been really, really open to improving the shipment of these queens, which is really nice. They've been having a conversation.

Speaker 1: Right. So there and there's been education like I'm actually right throughout that supply change is letting people know this box comes in as marked for queens. You have to really can't get too hot.

This is a package that needs to stay relatively cool. That's a great story. It's kind of like identifying a problem and really targeted kind of educational resources to kind of solve a problem. And I guess, you know, just coming back around, this was another Project APSM supported project.

And you know, there's one thing I really like about Project APSM is they're very agile and be able to address problems, identify them and get money to people just to like, let's solve it now. We don't have to wait. Exactly.

Speaker 2: No, yeah, I definitely have been a recipient of the funds from Project APSM and I'm always appreciative of organizations like them and then all on board of California also, which I think is very, very nice that they understand the need for supporting each other. Basically, they understand that growers need beekeepers, beekeepers need growers. So they came out with that really nice best management practices guide for bees in pollination. And it's available online.

Speaker 1: Yeah, you know, let's just quickly talk about this because in Oregon, we really have modeled what we're doing after the California example. It was really impressive to see, you know, the way that those initial conversations took place between on board registrants, EPA kind of sitting down and having everybody kind of come up with an agreement that was, you know, people that skin in the game were there and they came up with this. I get, you know, it's a very simple protocol that how to protect bees.

Speaker 2: Yes, it is. And they have a whole booklet if you wish to read it, it's online available. They actually just published an updated one and they include talks on supplemental forage and how that can benefit bees as well. So they promote that.

And then the protocols are fairly, as you said, simple. And of course, they're trying to think about those who are applying potentially pesticides. One of the big things is don't apply pesticides during bloom when the bees are out. So a big positive would be if at all possible for a pesticide applicator to spray in the evening, for example, when the bees are not out. Some of the more common sense things are don't spray the hive directly, right?

Speaker 1: It does happen. It does happen. No, absolutely does happen. Don't spray the bees. If you need to spray in fact, in California by law, if there are any agricultural sprays happening, beekeepers who are within a mile of that spray need to be notified by the pesticide applicator. So they have 48 hours to either cover up their bees or move them.

They don't have to, but then at least they know they can make that decision. Also water, obviously, bees need water. So protecting any water sources is also really useful or at least replacing them after there's a spray that happens.

I think I think I covered most of it. And read the label. You should ask Gendoni about reading the label and all the pesticides. Don't use the highly toxic to bees pesticides. Well, the thing I think is really remarkable. I had heard, you know, Almond Board has been able to demonstrate where there has been issues, real reductions, because there's pesticide reporting in California. So it's actually trackable. You can see that this educational approach has been really successful.

Speaker 2: Yes, no, absolutely. And actually come to think of it, I forgot probably one of the major things to mention, don't tank mix. We've seen time and time again that some of the insecticides that are applied in conjunction with fungicides and fungicides can actually exacerbate the problem for pesticides. But yeah, I think education is crucial because sometimes people don't even think about these consequences, potential consequences. And not because they don't want to think about it, they literally just don't think about it.

Speaker 1: So let me just do it. So you have a million other things. California, good extension people, great Queens, I know, good industry. Ocean. Oh yeah, and seagulls. Seagulls. This is great.

Speaker 2: I know. I like it here. You can always come back. Let's take a break. We have one last, we have a set of questions we asked all our guests. I'm gonna, I haven't told you about these questions. It's a little bit of an ambush, but I know you'll do well. I figure. I figure.

Speaker 1: Okay, we are back. Unphased. Dr. Nino, I want to ask you, do you have a book recommendation?

Speaker 2: Well, in true B, honey, B queen, biologist, physiologist, obsessed person, I really, really enjoyed reading the new book by Coniger and Coniger and then Jamie Alice about queen mating biology. There's a new book.

There's a new book, a couple of years old probably, and it's a really nice read and it really has quite a bit of information all packed into that one book. So it's all there talking about drone congregation areas, the process of what just happens with a sperm when it enters the queen and all of that good stuff.

Speaker 1: It complicated. It's a complicated process. I'm always, you know, I'm starting to work with other bees and I think, okay, this is, they all have spermathecas, but they don't have these weird ovidux and all these weird systems going on and these huge ovaries. I don't think any of these little native bees flying around have these ovaries this size.

Speaker 2: Well, yeah, because they wouldn't be able to fly around. But they are and we do anatomy and physiology class for beekeepers and we do a lot of dissections and that's usually one of the things that we obviously open up a queen and the reaction is, whoa, where's everything else? How does she fit everything else in there?

Speaker 1: They're huge. Yes. It's like one of those Italian cars that's like all engine and nothing else. There's like no glove box, no place to put your coffee.

Speaker 2: Pretty much all packed in ovaries in there. Okay.

Speaker 1: Next question I have for you is, do you have a go-to tool, a tool that you, you know, if you were on a desert island, would really be lost without?

Speaker 2: A go-to tool that I would be lost without. Well, here, it's not a tool, but it is something that I really cherish and I've been really devoted to it. Popsicles. Popsicles. If I could have a supply of popsicles, they make my life better. I don't need any other tools. I, well, I'm gonna say, I have a sweet tooth.

Speaker 1: Me too. And I do have to say the thing, I'll be research. I think people haven't done beekeeping. I deal size it. It's hot. It's hot. It's really hot. It's hot.

Speaker 2: Exactly. Pense the popsicles.

Speaker 1: Especially in California. You need something to cool down. Wow.

Speaker 2: These are very, we weren't expecting this. Two, unexpected. I wonder what number three is going to be, the favorite pollinator. Oh, the favorite pollinator. I have to say hummingbirds. Whoa! Not even an insect. They're amazing.

I mean, just looking at how fast they are and able to just kind of float in the air, so to speak. I love going into our, the hog and that's honey behaving. Actually, a lot of birders go there to observe birds. Oh my God, we have so many pollinators, so many different pollinators, first of all, but hummingbirds that are really wonderful.

Speaker 1: Okay, so there's this big, I was able to go there. The Steve Peterson interview that we had a couple, about a month ago was right there. We sat, we talked, there was a rooster in the background.

It was really good. No seagulls, roosters. If you're from, if it's a UC Davis associated thing, we will have a bird sound in the back.

Hummingbird. Okay. There you go. Yeah. So there's this amazing garden and you're actually doing some research out there as well. Yes. Tell us about how the garden got started and so Dr.

Speaker 2: Christine Casey is the garden manager and she's really done a wonderful job. The garden started right around time, well, maybe a little bit later, but I'm sure it was before my time, but I'm sure the conversation started right around the time when the colony collapsed disorder was recorded. So Hagen Daz wanted to help the ice cream company support.

Speaker 1: Yes, the ice cream company wanted to help support honey bees because a lot of their products within ice creams are pollinated by honey bees. So we have the associated Laidlaw facility, the Bee Bio facility, and we have colonies there as well. So they wanted to provide some basically food for honey bees and they donated the funds to start up the pollinator garden.

And it's about a half an acre. We have about 200 or so pollinator supportive plants and they provide, you know, nectar, pollen or both. A lot of them are California natives. They also have drought tolerance because that's a crucial thing in California.

They have to be really able to survive without a lot of water. And we do outreach events. Chris Casey does gardening classes. Also, she's starting off actually a children gardening class. We do outreach for third graders to fourth graders.

What did I call it? PEP, Pollinator Education Program. And they love it. So we teach them a little bit about, you know, the importance of pollinators. And we always talk about how they don't need to be future scientists, but they will be the future voters. So they need to know where their food is coming from, especially if you're in California. Right. So we do quite a bit of outreach. And I guess a lot of people can see this thing because you guys are holding an international pollinator conference.

Speaker 2: Absolutely.

Speaker 1: I was going to bring it up. So thank you. Yes, I'm all about. It's going to be a great conference. We have some great speakers, Lynn Dix from the UK. She's going to be talking a little bit about policy. So the whole conference is geared a little bit towards how we can do some cross-stock between, you know, researchers, stakeholders to guide the policy making and regulations. Christina Grozenger will also be there and a lot of different sessions ranging from talking about, you know, impacts of pesticides and how we can mitigate those and effects on a cellular level all the way up to landscapes.

We'll have on Saturday. So it's July 17th through the 20th. On the 20th is a Saturday and we'll have a honey bee sort of managed pollinator session in agricultural settings in the morning and then urban pollinator session in the afternoon, which I think that would be really of interest to a lot of potentially even local beekeepers. So I hope to see a lot of people there. It's going to be huge. On the show notes, we'll link the registration because registration is now open.

Speaker 2: Registration is open. We have a web page. We have the abstract submission ends, I believe, April 14th or 15th. So you should double check, get on it if you want to be a part of the conference.

But it's always been a great hit. This has been a conference that was started at Penn State and I've attended all three of them in the past. So this is the fourth one and it really is always a great time. I learn a lot.

Speaker 1: All right, Oregonians, let's head to California in July. Thanks so much for taking time to talk with us.

Speaker 2: Thank you, Andoni. Always a pleasure.

Speaker 1: Thanks so much for listening. Show notes with information discussed in each episode can be found at pollinationpodcast.oregonstate.edu. We'd also love to hear from you and there are several ways to connect. For one, you can visit our website to post an episode-specific comment, suggest a future guest or topic, or ask a question that could be featured in a future episode. You can also email us at [email protected]. Finally, you can tweet questions or comments or join our Facebook or Instagram communities. Just look us up at OSU Pollinator Health. If you like the show, consider letting iTunes know by leaving us a review or rating.

It makes us more visible, which helps others discover pollination. See you next week.

Dr. Elina L Niño’s research interests are broad and range from understanding reproductive processes involved in queen bee mating to developing and evaluating new control methods to combat Varroa mites. More recent research efforts have focused on understanding benefits of supplemental forage crops within agricultural systems. In her extension role, Niño is overseeing the recently UC ANR funded Master Beekeeper Program at UC Davis. Her program offers many beekeeping courses and upcoming efforts will focus on the development of the Pollinator Education Program for kids and youth.

Listen in to learn how growers can improve their pollinator effectiveness, the benefits of certain overwintering solutions, and the key to great queens.

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“I know there’s a lot of talk about letting natural selection do it’s thing, but we have to think about what we’re doing. When we put the bee colony into a hive, it’s no longer considered to be, in my mind, natural. So I think they definitely need some help.” – Dr. Elina L Niño

Show Notes:

  • Why almond growers were particularly nervous about this years pollination
  • The different overwintering options and how different farmers and beekeepers have adapted
  • How growers are getting forage into their orchards
  • Why growers should consider adding mustard to their orchard and let it go to seed
  • What makes Northern California such a great place to make a queen
  • Why these high quality queens can perform poorly
  • How beekeepers, growers, and regulators came together to protect bees, and what they created to do it
  • The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at UC Davis, and why it was created

“There’s no doubt in my mind that there is a way to do breeding in a proper way, without putting the agriculture at risk.” – Dr. Elina L Niño

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“Pregúntale a Extensión” es una forma de obtener respuestas del Servicio de Extensión de Oregon State University. Contamos con expertos en familia y salud, desarrollo comunitario, alimentación y agricultura, temas costeros, silvicultura, programas para jóvenes y jardinería.