Pesticides and Pollinators
Honey bees are social insects native to Europe and Asia that were first brought to the Americas in the 1600s. The typical honey bee colony has one queen, 20,000 to 80,000 female workers, and up to 5,000 male drones. The queen’s primary responsibility is reproduction; her eggs will develop into workers, drones, or new queens depending on the time of year and the colony’s strength. Workers have many responsibilities at different stages in their life cycle including brood rearing, queen care, comb building, nest construction, foraging, nest maintenance, honey production and storage, hive thermoregulation, and colony defense. Drones, which serve only for reproduction, die immediately after successfully copulating. Those that fail to mate are thrown out of the nest in the fall. The honey bee population is lowest in winter and peaks in late spring or early summer.
- Virginia was ranked 39th among honey-producing states in 2004.
- According to the Virginia Agricultural Statistics Service (VASS), 7,000 honeybee colonies produced 266,000 lbs. of honey worth $567,000 in 2004. However, the actual number of colonies is approximately 38,000 managed hives that produce over 1 million lbs. of honey annually.
- The average price per pound was $2.13 in 2004.
- The top five honey-producing counties in 2002 were Clarke, Rockingham, Henry, Loudoun, and Augusta.
To read the crop profile document click HERE
Developed and Written by:
- Holly A. Gatton, Project Manager, Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs, Department of Entomology, 302 Agnew Hall (0409), Blacksburg, VA 24061 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Collaborating AuthorsHoney Bees:
Rick Fell, Professor, Virginia Tech Department of Entomology, 324 Price Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061 - email@example.com
Michael J. Weaver, Professor & Director, Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs, Department of Entomology, 302 Agnew Hall (0409), Blacksburg, VA 24061 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Terwilliger, Publications Manager and Editor, Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs, Department of Entomology, 302 Agnew Hall (0409), Blacksburg, VA 24061 - email@example.com
- Virginia Agricultural Statistics Service. 2004. “Ranks of Principal Crops and Livestock 2004.” http://www.nass.usda. gov/va.
- Stanghellini, M., and P. Raybold. 2004. “Crop Profile for Honey Bees in New Jersey.” http://www.pestmanagement. rutgers.edu/njinpas/CropProfiles/NJHoneyBeeCP.pdf
- Fell, R.D. 2006. “Regulations and Basic Information: Protecting Honey Bees.” 2006 Virginia Pest Management Guide. http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/pmg/fc1.pdf