Honey Bee Health First Responder Program

Last year, the WNYHP was asked by New York State Ag & Markets to participate in their Honey Bee Health First Responder Program. This program is running from July 1st, 2019 to July 31st, 2020. The main goals of Honey Bee Health First Responder Program are to train hobbyist/sideliner beekeepers to identify pests and infectious diseases that threaten New York’s honeybee population. In turn, these local “first responders” will conduct outreach and education within their own bee clubs, using hands-on inspection and assessment of members bee colonies to find and eliminate honey bee diseases before they become a serious threat.

We sent 3 members to attend an intensive training in August 2019 that included the identification of serious honeybee pests and diseases as well as the proper techniques used in an apiary inspection. Working in concert with their local bee club, the first responders will visit a minimum of twenty member bee yards looking to provide one-on one education to the member beekeeper for early signs of disease or pests. The first responders will use AFB/EFB test kits for any suspected American or European Foul Brood disease. Positive test results will be reported promptly to NYSDAM.

The WNYHP, in Sept 2019, hosted a workshop with club members on American Foul Brood. By August 31st, 2020, the “First Responders” will complete and submit an exit survey to gage the response of the training and member conducted inspection program.

If you are interested in having your apiary inspected in support of this project, please send an e-mail to

University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada Honey Bee Research Centre

From Honeycomb to Consumer: Marketing Local Honey in New York State

Click here for this Cornell University Cooperative Extension bulletin.