The latest information about hive health, colony collapse disorder and other topics are on the agenda for the Oregon State Beekeepers Association’s fall conference Nov. 6-8 in Silverton.
Speakers include Ramesh Sagili, an Oregon State University professor and Extension specialist who is researching causes of colony collapse disorder, the mysterious ailment that causes honeybees to abandon hives and disappear.
“We love that guy,” said Harry Vanderpool of the beekeepers association.
Also speaking is Randy Oliver, of Grass Valley, Calif., a commercial beekeeper and researcher who writes extensively about bees and reviews scientific studies.
The two have back-to-back presentations on Sunday, the final day of the conference. Oliver will talk about “Understanding Bee Biology Over the Course of a Season” at 10:15 a.m., followed at 11 a.m. by Sagili speaking on “Pests, Pathogens and Poor Nutrition: Understanding and Mitigating.”
Commercial crop pollination by bees, of course, is critical to agriculture. The USDA estimated bee pollination increases crop values by $15 billion annually. Farmers have estimated yields would decline 70 percent in some cases without commercial bees.
Colony collapse disorder, or CCD, was noticed nationally in 2006 when beekeepers began to report hive losses of 30 to 90 percent. Ten percent loss during winter was considered normal. The losses touched off a national effort to find a remedy, but a precise cause has eluded researchers. Sagili believes proper nutrition is crucial to bee health, and doubts there is a single “smoking gun” cause of CCD.
The conference takes place at the Oregon Garden Resort, 895 W. Main St., Silverton.
For registration, schedule, cost and other information, go to the conference website: http://osba2015.orsba.org