The National Stakeholders Meeting on Honey Bee Health

In 2007 the Federal Colony Collapse Disorder Steering Committee was mandated by Congress to investigate the causes of and find solutions to colony collapse disorder (CCD). While no single cause of CCD has been identified, the efforts of researchers, beekeepers, industry and others, have led to a better understanding and knowledge of the factors that affect honey bee health. The CCD Steering Committee believes it is a good time to bring together researchers and stakeholders to synthesize what has been learned about honey bee health and to determine if there are new areas of research or action needed to better understand and promote honey bee health. The Pennsylvania State University, Center for Pollinator Research, is collaborating with the CCD Steering Committee to host the National Stakeholders Meeting on Honey Bee Health. Stakeholders and researchers are being invited to exchange ideas and work together to inform the CCD Steering Committee on best management practices and future directions of research aimed at supporting and improving honey bee health.

Date and Location

When (Date/Time)

October 15, 2012 to October 16, 2012

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If You Are Interested In Attending: The first day of this meeting is open to the public, when several research scientists will provide presentations on each of the health factors and several stakeholders will provide brief comments. If you are interested in attending, please contact Mr. David Epstein to register (no fee). Space is limited and available and on a first-come basis.

David Epstein, Office of Pest Management Policy, US Department of Agriculture

The general decline of honey bee health over the past several years is believed to be related to numerous factors.  USDA research has identified several primary factors  believed to interact in various ways to render honey bee colonies unstable and susceptible to collapse.  These primary health factors are the focus of the National Stakeholders Meeting on Honey Bee Health and include:


  1. Nutrition: discuss ways to improve the nutritional resources for honey bees;
  2. Pathogens and Arthropod Pests: discuss methods to manage in-hive pests of honey bees;
  3. Pesticides: discuss management  practices to reduce the impact of pesticides on honey bees; and,
  4. Genetics, Breeding and Biology: discuss advances and integrate efforts to breed honey bee strains that are resistant disease.

The CCD Steering Committee has invited a range of stakeholders including: beekeepers, researchers, retailers, agroscience representatives, federal and state officials, non-governmental organizations, and commodity crop groups to meet and discuss what has been learned about each of these factors and to seek the input of these stakeholders on how best to use the knowledge that has been gained on each of the primary health factors to advance the health of honey bees.  The aims of the meeting will be:

  • to synthesize the state of knowledge regarding CCD per se and its role in relation to other factors that affect honey bee health;
  • to synthesize the current state of knowledge regarding each of the factors hypothesized as affecting honey bee health;
  • to explore how the various hypothesized factors inter-relate with one another; and, discuss best management practices (BMP’s) associated with each factor and across factors; and,
  • to discuss and identify future topics for research and action.

The first day of the Meeting will be devoted to presentations by several stakeholder groups, and leading research scientists. The CCD Steering Committee has asked several leading research scientists to present a state-of-the-knowledge for each of the primary health factors, and has also invited several stakeholder representatives to make a brief presentation of their efforts to improve honey bee health.  The second day will be devoted to a combination of plenary and breakout sessions where smaller groups of participants can exchange ideas (see Agenda below).

Some space is available to the general public on the first day.  However, in an effort to keep breakout sessions a manageable size and productive, space on the second day is reserved.  If you are interested in attending the Meeting, please contact: David Epstein of USDA.