Can Killer Bees Save America?

From: The Daily Beast

With scientists unable to solve the great honeybee die-out, the search for alternate pollinators is on—and killer bees are proving the most resilient, and terrifying, of the bunch.

To understand the wide world of alternative pollinators, the Daily Beast reached out to Michael Burgett, Emeritus Professor of Entomology at Oregon State University.


One of the positives of CCD is there’s a lot more money going into bee research. Such attention has led to the discovery of several additional pathogens (including several new viruses) which the varroa mite is hosting. Says Burgett “I would venture to guess that 75 percent of CCD problems are related to varroa and varroa-[related] diseases.”

Leave a Comment November 27, 2015

Double whammy stacked against bee colonies in the East

From: CBS 9



”It’s public enemy number one to honeybees in North America.”

Jerry Flanagan, a beekeeper in Pitt County, is talking about the Varroa mite. The parasite is one of the leading causes of colony failure. Infestations have been particularly bad so far this fall.

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Leave a Comment November 25, 2015

Texas Tech Researchers Look to Get Bee Populations Buzzing


By: Press release from Texas Tech University

In the wake of colony collapse disorder, bee populations have seen dramatic losses in recent years. But a team of Texas Tech University researchers is working on a project to help farmers boost the health of their pollinator pals.

Funded by a $380,579 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the three-year project will study how land not being used for agricultural production can be improved to benefit the diverse and abundant native species that pollinate crops, and then teach producers more effective conservation methods to maintain those populations.

Leave a Comment November 23, 2015

DNA and a Supercomputer Partner to Sustain Honey Bees: New Research from Ohio State

From: TheBuzz@OSU | Stories, News and Updates from the World of Pollinators


To uncover what plants honey bees rely on, researchers from The Ohio State University are using the latest DNA sequencing technology and a supercomputer. They spent months collecting pollen from beehives and have developed a multi-locus metabarcoding approach to identify which plants, and what proportions of each, are present in pollen samples.

A single colony can collect pollen from dozens of different plant species, and this pollen is useful evidence of the colony’s foraging behavior and nutrition preferences.

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Leave a Comment November 20, 2015

UNCG student’s research could save honey bee colonies

From UNCG Now | University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Story by Jeanie Groh, University Relations
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Relations

 Kaira Wagoner inspects a UNCG beehive.

Kaira Wagoner, UNCG’s Biology Department’s first doctoral student, has uncovered a chemical that could increase the odds of honey bee survival by helping them better combat the parasites within their hives.


Wagoner’s research focuses on Varroa destructor, also called the Varroa mite.

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Leave a Comment November 18, 2015

Honey bees facing a tough winter, Bayer researcher says

From: Agri-Pulse

By Daniel Enoch

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2015 – U.S. honey bee colonies could be in for a bad winter.

That’s the word from Dick Rogers, the principal scientist with the Bayer Bee Care Center in North Carolina, who’s been studying honey bees for decades. In a blog post, Rogers says he conducts hive evaluations during late summer and early fall, often involving up to 150 samples from hives across the country, and this year he’s alarmed by the prevalence of a hive parasite called the Varroa mite.

Leave a Comment November 17, 2015

UK Court on NGO Anti-Neonic Motion: “unarguable on all grounds”.

From: Western Morning News

Campaigners lose bid to challenge ‘bee-harming’ pesticides decision

By WMNDavidWells

Campaigners have lost their bid to challenge the lifting of a ban on the use of “bee-harming” pesticides in four English counties.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth (FoE) were refused permission to apply for judicial review of a decision in July allowing farmers to drill oilseed rape seeds coated with two neonicotinoid pesticides this autumn.

A judge ruled their case “unarguable on all grounds”.

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1 Comment November 16, 2015

How African honey bees can help mitigate a world crisis

From: CNN

[CNN] Editor’s Note: Vincent Dietemann is Extraordinary lecturer in Zoology and Entomology at the University of Pretoria. CNN is showcasing the work of The Conversation, a collaboration between journalists and academics to provide news analysis and commentary. The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) Managed honeybee population stocks are declining in many countries, worrying scientists, the public and politicians. This decline affects us all, as it poses a risk to food security.

Leave a Comment November 11, 2015

The queen is sweet on honeybees

From: Christian Science Monitor

Her garden at Buckingham Palace supports a bee-friendly landscape.

Bees are having a tough time in England, too. While colony collapse disorder is far less of an issue in Europe than it is in North America, varroa mites, viruses, pesticides, and habitat loss have contributed to the loss of more than 50 percent of England’s bee population over the past two decades. Two native honeybee species are thought to be extinct.

The buzz about shrinking honeybee populations has mobilized concern. Help is coming from all manner of honey lovers, from Winnie-the-Pooh to Queen Elizabeth II.

Leave a Comment November 11, 2015

Colony Collapse Disorder Eight Years Later

From: Entomological Society of America

Annapolis, MD: November 9, 2015 — A symposium on honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) will be held Sunday November 15 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 noon at the Minneapolis Convention Center during the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA). Honey bee experts from all over the U.S. will discuss factors that may contribute to CCD, such as Varroa mites, pesticide residues, pesticide formulations, honey bee habitat, and honey bee genetics.

Leave a Comment November 10, 2015

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