bees | WAMC


Jayme Roy / The Pollinators

Peter Nelson is the director of “The Pollinators,” a documentary that follows his travels around the United States following migratory beekeepers as they pollinate the flowers that produce the nation’s fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The movie was released in late 2019 and is screening at a Berkshire International Film Festival event as a part of its Environmental Film Focus at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts this Sunday at 3 p.m.  Also a beekeeper, Nelson tells WAMC that “The Pollinators” explores the problems that bees, beekeepers, and the country’s agricultural system face – and why he’s still optimistic.

Bees cluster outside their hive in Morrisonville NY
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York U.S. Senator Charles Schumer was in northern New York today to illustrate how a new USDA plan could hurt honey bee colonies.

Jesse King / WAMC

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer visited Albany’s Radix Ecological Sustainability Center Monday to raise awareness about a U.S. Department of Agriculture decision to stop collecting data on honey bees. 

A Yellow-banded Bumble Bee nectaring Joe-pye weed
K.P. McFarland / Vermont Center for Ecostudies

The Adirondack Pollinator Project, an effort of the non-profit advocacy group AdkAction, is hosting a symposium this week on how to protect our native pollinator species.

Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm. She was five years old, her parents had recently split and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard. That first close encounter was at once terrifying and exhilarating for May, and in that moment she discovered that everything she needed to know about life and family was right before her eyes, in the secret world of bees.

The bees became a guiding force in May’s life, teaching her about family and community, loyalty and survival and the unequivocal relationship between a mother and her child. Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, "The Honey Bus" is a story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little-understood insect could save a life.


The University of Vermont has received a surprise gift of half a million dollars to go toward researching bees.

A Yellow-banded Bumble Bee nectaring Joe-pye weed
K.P. McFarland / Vermont Center for Ecostudies

A team of researchers from the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and the University of Vermont has found that several species of bumblebees native to the state are in severe decline or appear to have vanished.

Course at CIA Introduces Bees On Campus

May 12, 2018
Courtesy of The Culinary Institute of America, Phil Mansfield

Some students at The Culinary Institute of America will soon be donning beekeeping suits for one of their classes.

The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts will opens its doors Sunday for a free day of art, exploration, and bees.

Williamstown Strives To Be More Bee Friendly

Oct 5, 2017
Bee-Friendly Williamstown

Last year, seven species of bees were place on the endangered species list, and Williamstown, Massachusetts wants to help save the rest of the bee population. 

Residents of Plainfield, Massachusetts will vote on a resolution at a Town Meeting Saturday to make their town a Pollinator-Friendly Community. 

The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts plans to launch an active beekeeping program on its campus to help grow the native bee population. Last year, the bees were placed on the endangered species list. 

In 2005, beekeepers in the United States began observing a mysterious and disturbing phenomenon: once-healthy colonies of bees were suddenly collapsing, leaving behind empty hives full of honey and pollen. 

Vanishing Bees takes us inside the debates over widespread honeybee deaths, introducing the various groups with a stake in solving the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), including beekeepers, entomologists, growers, agrichemical companies, and government regulators. Drawing from extensive interviews and first-hand observations, Sainath Suryanarayanan and Daniel Lee Kleinman examine how members of each group have acquired, disseminated, and evaluated knowledge about CCD.

Study Says Wild Bees Are On The Decline

Dec 29, 2015
Maciej Czyzewski/Wikimedia Commons

A national study led by University of Vermont researchers found that the country's population of wild bees has declined 23 percent over the past seven years. 

A Million Honeybees...

Jun 26, 2015
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Beekeepers have quite the task ahead of them as they remove an estimated 1 million honey bees that have taken up residence at a New York home.

6/23/14 Panel

Jun 23, 2014


  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Newsman Ray Graf and Times Union Associate Editor, Mike Spain.

Topics include:
Iraq Update
Kerry on Ties to Egypt
Clinton - Imperial Image?
Honey Bee Initiative
US World Cup Draw


  Dave Goulson became obsessed with wildlife as a small boy growing up in rural England, starting with an increasingly exotic menagerie of pets. When his interest turned to the anatomical, there were even some ill-fated experiments with taxidermy. But bees are where Goulson’s true passion lies—the humble bumblebee in particular.

Once commonly found in the marshes of Kent, the English short-haired bumblebee went extinct in the United Kingdom, but by a twist of fate still exists in the wilds of New Zealand, the descendants of a few pairs shipped over in the nineteenth century.

Dave Goulson’s quest to reintroduce it to its native land is one of the highlights of his book, A Sting in the Tale, that includes original research into the habits of these mysterious creatures, history’s relationship with the bumblebee, and advice on how to protect the bumblebee for future generations.

Maciej Czyzewski/Wikimedia Commons

Vermont beekeepers face mite infestations, extreme temperature swings and the possibility of colony collapse. But a San Francisco State University professor says a new threat has arrived in Vermont: zombie bees.

The Thinking Beekeeper

Feb 22, 2013

Christy Hemenway is the owner and founder of Gold Star Honeybees and author of the recently published, The Thinking Beekeeper. She will be teaching a Weekend Intensive in Top Bar Beekeeping at Berkshire Community College this Saturday and Sunday.

Christy’s new book, The Thinking Beekeeper, is the definitive do-it-yourself guide to natural beekeeping in top bar hives. Based on the concept of understanding and working with bees' natural systems as opposed to trying to subvert them.

Beekeeping has become a surprisingly fast growing hobby in Massachusetts, despite a time of overall lower honey production caused by new diseases affecting hive populations, and uncooperative weather. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard took a look and filed this report…

President of the Massachusetts Beekeepers Association Dan Conlon has seen some funny business in the honey business this year.