Ramesh Sagili arrived in Corvallis in February to start a honeybee research program targeting mites, pesticides, stress and nutrition. The new OSU bee specialist is part of an initiative to help ensure that there are enough healthy honeybees to pollinate Oregon’s crops.
Sagili says Varroa mites, nutritional deficiencies or other factors might be the cause of colony collapse disorder, which occurs when adult honeybees abandon a hive. Sagili’s position was created at the request of Oregon agricultural groups worried about the health and supply of honeybees, which are crucial pollinators for many of the state’s crops, including blueberries, pears, cherries, apples and vegetable seeds.
“Colony collapse disorder is so complex that it will be a long time before we arrive at a conclusion as to what is causing it,” Sagili adds. “But meanwhile, beekeepers need to take steps to maintain healthy and strong colonies.”
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To support honeybee research at OSU, contact the OSU Foundation