The Climate Change Impact on Bees & Floral Sources with Dr. Christina Grozinger (S3, E46)


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In this episode, we talk with Dr. Christina Grozinger, from Penn State’s Department of Entomology. Her recent research and paper of climate changes impact on honey bee survival and plant growing season has confirmed many suspicions on the long term impact these changes have on all bees, both native and honey bees.

Climate change, growing degree days, too warm, too wet, not wet enough, too cold, not enough nectar, last summer’s weather, winter temperatures – all of these environmental experiences have some effect on honey bee behavior. But this research at Penn State indicates, interestingly, that the temperature last summer is the best predictor of that colony making it through to the winter and into the next season.

In the northeast US the changing climate shows warmer winters, more intense precipitation in the winter and spring, and longer growing seasons with higher maximum temperatures. These changes are affecting the success of populations of both wild bees, and those we keep in hives. Bees are experiencing habitat loss and climate change simultaneously, plus greater exposure to the bad sides of agriculture.

So, Penn State has started several projects, looking at these variables and surprisingly, found that, yes, varroa is still the greatest problem beekeepers have with their bees, but that doesn’t explain why the abundance and diversity of wild bees is declining at the same time.

Listen today as Christina discusses the important findings of this research and on Penn State’s continuing projects investigating the questions they’re exploring. And there are many ways you can participate!

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:


We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at

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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.


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Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"; Musicalman, "Epilogue". Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott

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