From: University of Minnesota
By Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist, May 23, 2014
New research about bees and pesticides from Harvard University was recently published by Lu et al. in the Bulletin of Insectology. This research examined honey bee colonies that were fed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contaminated with two common neonicotinoids (imidacloprid or clothianidin) during late summer and then observed in the following spring. Both the control colonies and the insecticide exposed colonies did well going into fall. While both sets of colonies then declined, the control colony numbers rebounded while the insecticide exposed colonies suffered large losses. The authors’ conclusions are that insecticides are the leading explanation for colony collapse disorder (CCD).
August 29, 2014
From: Asian Scientist
A study documents the spread of bee-killing viruses through New Zealand via the parasitic mite Varroa destructor.
AsianScientist (Aug. 27, 2014) – Honeybee colonies are dying at alarming rates worldwide. A variety of factors have been proposed to explain their decline, but the exact cause—and how bees can be saved—remains unclear. An article published in PLOS Pathogens examines the viral landscape in honeybee colonies in New Zealand after the recent arrival of the parasitic Varroa destructor mite.
August 27, 2014
From: Business Insider Australia
The Varroa mite, the main suspect behind the collapse of bee populations around the world, has landed in New Zealand.
And scientists are using the opportunity to monitor the effects of early infestation on bees and their viruses.
So far, they’ve found seven different bee virus species which have responded in a unique way to the arrival, establishment and persistence of the mite.
Varroa feeds on the blood of pupae and adult bees and can transmit several honeybee viruses with high efficiency.
Read Complete Article
August 25, 2014
From: Australian Broadcasting Corporation/News
By Selina Bryan
The Tasmanian Government, CSIRO and beekeepers have teamed up to fight a pest that could threaten Australian food production.
The varroa destructor is a parasitic mite that attacks honey bees.
Around the world it has already reduced honey bee numbers and affected food crop pollination.
“Estimates from a report released last year have put [the potential cost] to at least about $1.3 billion over the next 30 years,” said Stephen Quarrell, an entomologist from the University of Tasmania.
August 21, 2014
From: Daily Astorian
By Eric Mortenson
The latest Oregon bee deaths were a case of “classic starvation,” not pesticides.
Although a veteran commercial beekeeper said “classic starvation” induced by inexperienced hobbyists killed thousands of honey bees in Clackamas County this summer, a retired entomology professor who examined the hives said the case isn’t that simple.
Dewey Caron, who has 40 years experience working with honey bees, said there’s no evidence to blame beginning beekeepers for the deaths, which prompted an intensive investigation and laboratory analysis by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
Read Complete Article
August 20, 2014
Editor’s Note: The USDA and the National Science Foundation are two of the federal science agencies that are members of President Obama’s Pollinator Health Task Force. The inclusion of so many distinguished scientific experts demonstrates the White House’s comitment to developing an effective plan for protecting pollinator health.
CropLife America (CLA) recognizes National Honey Bee Day, taking place August 16, 2014, and reminds the public of the importance of supporting healthy bee populations. This year’s theme, “Sustainable Gardening Begins with Honey Bees,” stresses the role that habitat and forage can play in supporting bee health.
August 18, 2014
From: University of Sussex
Perhaps the most accurate thing about Albert Einstein’s pronouncement on the importance of bees – “if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left.” – is that he never said it.
It’s an aphorism often quoted in the many media reports on honey bee losses, along with apocalyptic headlines warning of economic and ecological disaster if the honey bee disappears for good.
August 15, 2014
From: Lawn & Lanscape
Overwintering losses of colonies has also sunk to record low for 2013/2014 winter.
European bees are much healthier than many recent publications appear to suggest. New field data from nearly 400,000 bee colonies from 21 countries in Europe and the Mediterranean show that overwintering losses of honey bee colonies – a leading indicator of general bee health – are at their lowest level in years.
August 13, 2014
From: NZ Beekeepers
Hygienic behavior – what it is, when does it appear and how can we stimulate it in our hives – Translated documentary of a lecture in Austria, april 2012
August 11, 2014
From: FLC NewsLine/Federal Lab Consortium for Technology Transfer
Written By: FLC Editor
The resistance of Varroa mites to currently available chemical miticides is developing rapidly. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists at the Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Research Unit in Baton Rouge, La., have developed honey bees with high expression of the Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) trait. Honey bees are naturally hygienic, and they often remove diseased brood from their nests.
August 8, 2014