Joe's Colony Collapse Study

Thanks for visiting Joe McInnis' GoFundMe page.

Joe is an 8th-grade student with a love of science. He's at Greenport High School out on the East End of Long Island.

He's working with a veterinary pathologist Douglas Gregg who's retired from the nearby Plum Island Animal Disease Center. He's helping Joe pursue a theory that an unusual viral infection is compromising honeybees' immune systems and causing colony collapse disorder. It's looking very promising.

Dr. Gregg had worked on a similar kind of virus both as part of his PhD thesis and while at Plum Island and is one of very few that specializes in that particular strain.

While they've been working on the project for over a year,  Joe started getting some media attention a couple of weeks ago with a North Fork Patch article about a talk Joe gave at a Southold High School research class in which he's participating.

Then, the local community newspaper, The Suffok Times, wrote a cover story on it.

Newsday then wrote a story and shot a video about it, Fox News New York  did a segment on it  that went national, and the local NPR station recorded an interview with him that will air soon.

Pollination by honeybees produce 30% of our food supply and bees are dying at a rate of 30% each year. As the bees say, "if we die, we're taking all of you with us!".

Even though Joe is only in 8th grade, there are many who believe that there's a significant chance this study could help prove that this immune-supressing virus is weakening the bees enough to allow other elements to kill the bees that normally wouldn't be a problem for them.

He won a $250 award recently at the New York State Histotechnological Society, the youngest ever to receive a grant from that organization.

As the articles and videos above explain, with the assistance of Dr. Gregg, Joe is doing highly complex work (that only graduate students and above might do) which involves lots of supplies, some expensive equipment such as a microtome and microfuge, costly stains and even a molecular biology technique called PCR (polymerase chain reaction) involving duplicating DNA sequences.

Right now, they're making progress in a makeshift lab using donated equipment, but things have progressed to a point where additional funding is needed to complete the study.

This is an important issue to Joe and, of course, the survival of us all hinges on identifying the cause of colony collapse disorder and finding a solution. 

Joe would be incredibly grateful for anything you can donate to help him complete this important study.
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Robert McInnis 
Greenport, NY
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