Hassle-Free Classical Conditioning for Honey Bees

From: Hackday

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It was proven back in 2011 that honey bees will make more pessimistic decisions after being shaken in a way that simulates an attack by varroa destructor mites. The bees were trained to associate a reward of sugar-water with a particular odor and to associate foul-tasting punishment water with another odor—that of formic acid, a common treatment against varroa mites. When a third stimulus created by mixing the two odors was presented, the experimenters found that the aggravated bees were more likely to expect the bad odor. Sure enough, they kept their tongues in their mouths when they smelled the third odor. All the bees that weren’t shaken looked forward to sucking down a bit of sugar-water.

Leave a Comment October 23, 2017

Pushing to be one of the best in the beekeeping industry at Colorado Mountain Honey

From: Post Independent

Chelsea Self

Derrick Maness started beekeeping 23 years ago when he was only 14 after being inspired by his middle school science teacher. He began working at Western Colorado Honey with Paul Limbach at a young age and now owns Colorado Mountain Honey, which is located in Silt next to the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation.
Although the farm and facility is located in Silt, the hives are spread throughout the Western Slope. Limbach, Maness and their teams take care of close to 3,000 hives, which equates to roughly 200 million bees raised locally.

Leave a Comment October 23, 2017

Neonic levels in honey below accepted guidelines: expert

From: The Western Producer

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In Oct. 9, CBC news posted a story on its website suggesting honey is contaminated with insecticides. The CBC story was factual but omitted a key point. The levels of neonics found in the honey samples were insignificant.


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“The concentrations detected in honey are very, very low, or absent,” said Chris Cutler, a Dalhousie University professor who specializes in pollinator risk assessment and insect toxicology.

“This recent Science paper is a monitoring survey that does not report anything unexpected. The concentrations detected align with that in previous reports.”

Leave a Comment October 20, 2017

What’s the buzz? Pennsylvania developing plan to help save the bees

From: The Morning  Call

By Carol Thompson

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Bogansky described unhealthy hives as “varroa bombs,” because of their capability of spreading the mites.

They are considered an unpleasant outcome of increased attention paid to honeybee population loss — people with good intentions may think they can support honeybees by keeping hives as a hobby, but if those hives are poorly tended they could turn into varroa bombs.

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Leave a Comment October 19, 2017

Utah State University professor hopes ‘BeePi’ hive sensors will help honeybees

From: HJNews.com

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“There is an emerging consensus that electronic beehive monitoring is the way to go, so it can help extract critical data from the hive without disturbing the hive,” Kulyukin said, sitting next to one of his four hives.

That winter, Kulyukin put the BeePi into two of his overwintering hives on private property in Cache Valley to fine-tune the device and test its systems. Since the initial testing, Kulyukin has collected hundreds of gigabytes of information as he has improved the design.

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Leave a Comment October 18, 2017

The Amazing Bee-Parasite Research of Leslie Saul-Gershenz

From: Bug Squad [University of California/Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources]

Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey

Evolutionary ecologist Leslie Saul-Gershenz goes places where many have been but few have ever really seen.

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We remember writing about her work in April of 2013 when she addressed the Nor Cal Entomology Society (now folded) about her research on how blister beetle nest parasites cooperate to mimic the sex pheromone of a digger bee. She had just returned from the Mojave National Preserve, tracking the solitary bee Habropoda pallida and its nest parasite, a blister beetle, Meloe franciscanus.

Leave a Comment October 17, 2017

Varroa Destructor Virus-1: It’s here…

From: Bee Informed

Written By: Karen Rennich

One of the best things about working in research is that it never fails to surprise – for good or for bad. And occasionally, it is not until much later that the surprise comes. In this case, the “surprise” arrived in the form of another Varroa-vectored, RNA virus, Varroa Destructor Virus-1, or VDV1.

Leave a Comment October 16, 2017

More evidence parasitic Varroa destructor mite poses most serious threat to bee health

From: Genetic Literacy Project

[GLP Editor’s note: Karen Rennich is the Project Manager for Bee Informed Partnership and APHIS National Survey, working out of University of Maryland’s Entomology Department. Among other things, they are studying the Varroa destructor mite, which a consensus of entomologists believe carries viruses that are the primary threat to bee health, rather than pesticides. This study provides further documentation of the dramatic spread of a particularly lethal form of a virus carried by the mite.]

Leave a Comment October 13, 2017

Norfolk retirees harvest rewards of beekeeping

From: Omaha World-Herald

By Andrea Larson / World-Herald News Service

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Both beekeepers said mites are a big challenge when working with colonies.

“When I first started, I didn’t understand the destructiveness of what’s called a varroa mite. Those things are just killing colonies like crazy. The problem with the varroa mite is it carries a lot of disease with it, so it weakens the hive,” Pofahl said.

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Leave a Comment October 12, 2017

Looking for the Varroa Mite in Beehives

From: State University of New York | Potsdam

Experiential learning is the at the heart of a SUNY Potsdam education and that is no more clearly expressed than when seniors Ryan Shores, Sydney LaPan, Toni Wahl and Christina Cranwell recently donned bee suits to inspect local bee hives with university Instructional Specialist Ray Bowdish and Dwayne Belt from the Local Living Venture’s Bees & Beekeeping Group.

The four students ventured out to inspect local honey bee hives as they were looking for the presence of the Varroa Mite (Varroa destructor), a pest that regularly plagues Honey bee (Apis melifera) colonies—Causing the parasitic disease, varroosis that weakens bee hives and eventually causes the hive to die or “collapse.”

Leave a Comment October 11, 2017

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