Research for Hire with Jessie & Bobby Louque (S3, E41)


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Today, we talk with Jessie and Bobby Louque, of Louque Agricultural Enterprises. Testing the interactions of pesticides and honey bees is what this company does on a daily basis. They have combined their passion for bees with their passion for science. They are what is called a Contract Research Organization, or CRO. Companies hire them to do the specialty research required with honey bees to provide the EPA with the measures and data needed to make decisions on the introduction or expansion of a pesticide or honey bee food label.

When a new product is going to be introduced or its use expanded, the EPA requires a lot of data on interactions with humans, mammals, birds and pollinators. The companies start with lab studies then ultimately to very controlled field studies. They want various rates, times and techniques of application studied on different crops measured. They want to know if exposure kills on contact in the field, or is it brought back to the hive and kills bees there. Then they want to know if the colony is able to continue to reproduce and if will it survive the winter. Thousands of Colony Collection Assessments are made, where every frame in every hive in the study, and there are often 150 or more, is measured for bees, open and sealed brood, nectar and honey percentages. This is done at least nine times for a study.

They hire CROs to perform this independent testing. For field testing with honey bees, they call Jessie and Bobby.

And at the end of a test, what happens to all the equipment, from hives to tools? Listen today to find out! The answer may surprise you!

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:


Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website:

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.


We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments:

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at

Thank you for listening!

Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong", Musicalman, "Epilogue"

Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC