Part I: Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health

From: Science 2.0

By Jon Entine

Reports that honey bees are dying in unusually high numbers has concerned many scientists, farmers and beekeepers, and  gripped the public. There have been thousands of stories ricocheting across the web, citing one study or another as the definitive explanation for a mystery that most mainstream experts say is complex and not easily reducible to the kind of simplistic narrative that appeals to advocacy groups.

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This series—Bee Deaths Mystery Solved!—specifically examines two controversial studies, both authored by the same researcher, that have became the linchpin for those who argue that bees and potentially the planet are facing a Beemageddon. It addresses:

Leave a Comment November 21, 2014

A large-scale field study examining effects of exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola on honey bee colony health, development, and overwintering success.

Editor’s Note: The complete study is available here.

From: PeerJ

Cutler GC1, Scott-Dupree CD2, Sultan M2, McFarlane AD2, Brewer L3.

Leave a Comment November 18, 2014

‘Unbiased’scientific look at neonics

From: FarmersForum (Ontario)

 Six Senate committee hearing presentations on neonics lay blame for bee deaths on many factors                                                      

By Patrick Meagher

It didn’t take long for the debate about neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds to sound hysterical.

Hysteria got a boost last month when Ontario Environment Commissioner Gord Miller announced that neonics are “the biggest threat to the structure and ecological integrity of the ecosystem that I have ever encountered in my life.”

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Chirs Cutler, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Dalhousie University: “That’s, I guess, a touchy subject.”

Senator Mercer: That’s why I asked it.

Leave a Comment November 17, 2014

Leveraging Agency Resources to Advance Varroa Research

The following is the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness’ statement before the Presidential Pollinator Health Task Force on November 12th. A pdf of CRE’s testimony is attached here.

Introduction

We applaud the EPA for initiating the public participation phase of the Task Force’s work in protecting pollinators by holding these public meetings. In doing so, EPA is helping fulfil two Presidential directives, one promoting honey bee health and other being the President’s transparency directive.

I am Bruce Levinson[1] with the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness, a regulatory watchdog located in Washington, DC.

Leave a Comment November 14, 2014

October Bee Lab Varroa and Nosema Results

From: Bee Informed, a partnership of USDA and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Written By: Heather Eversole

The Maryland lab has been very busy this past month! We temporarily relocated our sample processing while our lab undergoes a remodel. This remodel will permit us to process a larger number of samples.

For the month of October (10/2-10/29/14), numerous samples were processed in the Maryland Bee lab.  The lab examined 1448 varroa and 1327 nosema samples overall. This resulted in an increase of 600 (71%) varroa and 540 (69%) nosema samples over the previous month. September 2013 was our busiest month last year, but October 2014 has surpassed that.

Leave a Comment November 12, 2014

Bees, bans and bungling: How an anti-pesticide campaign may spell serious trouble

From: Financial Post

At the end of a long day in the field, Ontario beekeeper Hugh Simpson is on his way to a meeting, where he’s looking forward to a packed agenda talking shop. Bee talk. Honey discourse.

And absolutely not about banning pesticides.

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He and many other beekeepers are more worried that the anti-neonic beekeepers and the environmentalist groups eagerly lining up behind yet another campaign targeting pesticide makers, could be pushing the government down a dangerous path. Especially since just a few changes to the way neonics have been applied in recent years are already showing a rapid rebound in bee populations. Banning the chemicals now could do far more harm to agriculture in Canada than any trouble neonics may be causing.

Leave a Comment November 10, 2014

New study finds no neonic impact on bees

From: The Western Producer

by Robert Arnason

A major Canadian study on neonicotinoids was released in late October with little pomp or circumstance.

Bee experts Cynthia Scott-Dupree of the University of Guelph and Chris Cutler of Dalhousie University concluded that canola grown from seed coated with a neonicotinoid insecticide does not pose a risk to honeybee colonies.

“Although various laboratory studies have reported sub-lethal effects in individual honeybees exposed to low doses of neonicotinoid insecticides, the results of the present study suggest that foraging on clothianidin seed-treated crops, under realistic conditions, poses low risk to honeybee colonies,” Cutler and Scott-Dupree wrote in a paper published in PeerJ, an online scientific journal.

Leave a Comment November 7, 2014

Pollinator Health Task Force; Notice of Public Meeting

Editor’s Note: The Task Force’s Public Meetings will be on November 12, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., eastern standard time, and November 17, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., eastern standard time. EPA’s Federal Register notice is available here.

From: Federal Register

SUMMARY

As part of the U.S. Government’s efforts to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators, the Pollinator Health Task Force (the Task Force) is soliciting stakeholder input on best management practices including pesticide risk mitigation, public-private partnerships, research, education opportunities, pollinator habitat improvements, and other actions that the Task Force should consider in developing a Federal strategy to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels. EPA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will host two listening sessions in order to solicit stakeholder input to the Federal strategy.

Leave a Comment November 5, 2014

Bee habitat funding applications due Nov. 21

From: AgWeek

FARGO, N.D. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will deliver $4 million for honeybee habitat funding through its Environmental Quality Incentive Program in fiscal year 2015.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

FARGO, N.D. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will deliver $4 million for honeybee habitat funding through its Environmental Quality Incentive Program in fiscal year 2015.

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The deadline for applying for this year’s EQIP funding is Nov. 21. U.S. Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., both announced their support of the spending, to help offset effects of colony collapse disorder, which causes 30 to 90 percent of bee die-offs. Bees pollinate $15 billion in crops across the country.

Leave a Comment November 4, 2014

Bee stocks here face ‘total annihilation’ if exotic beetle lands [Ireland]

From: Herald.ie

By Fiona Dillon

Bee-keepers are being warned to be on alert for the small-hive beetle which could annihilate bee stocks if it arrives in Ireland.

The beetle, which is indigenous to Africa, wiped out tens of thousands of honey bee colonies in the US in the first few years after it became established there – and now it has arrived in Europe.

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It can cause major damage to combs, stored honey and pollen.

And if a beetle infestation is sufficiently heavy, they may cause bees to abandon their hive.

Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment October 31, 2014

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