Editor’s Note: New Zealand has used neonicotinoids for two decades. The threats posed to the country’s bees are from varroa and other parasites and pathogens.
From: Federated Farmers
Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products into New Zealand, not only does it underscore how serious Biosecurity is taken here, it could have prevented an economic disaster.
October 22, 2014
Editor’s Note: The following article discussing CRE’s comments to the Presidential Bee Health Task Force is in French. A Google translation of the article is available here.
Le Président Obama a mis en place en juin dernier une task force sur le déclin des pollinisateurs, leur demandant de proposer un plan d’action avant la fin de l’année. Cette task force avait posé la question suivante au « Center for Regulatory Effectiveness », organisme fédéral de contrôle et de surveillance des agences fédérales réalisant aussi des expertises :
« Is Varroa Destructor or Neonicotinoid Pesticides Responsible for Bee Health Decline?”
October 20, 2014
From: The Waterloo Region Record
Terry Daynard farms in Wellington County and is a former associate dean, research and innovation, at the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph.
In an Oct. 11 Record column (Neonic pesticide ban vital for bee health, as well as our own), some environmental groups called for a ban on use of neonicotinoid insecticides.
They support this with questionable information and claims.
This column provides an alternative perspective.
But to state that neonics are “the primary cause” of increased bee mortality — especially over-winter mortality — is simply not supported by science.
October 17, 2014
From: The Recorder
By TOM RELIHAN/Recorder Staff
DEERFIELD — It was the early 1990s and America’s honey bees were under attack.
Dan Conlon, owner of Warm Colors Apiary in Deerfield, watched as hive after hive of his fellow beekeeper’s stock succumbed to the Varroa destructor, a parasitic mite against which European bees are virtually defenseless.
The mites, which Conlon said are native to Asia and had probably entered the U.S. as stowaways on a shipment of bees, had launched a full-scale invasion that decimated hives across the country and drove many professional beekeepers into bankruptcy. In just three years, he said, the country lost over 4 million beehives.
October 15, 2014
From: Waterloo Region Record/Letter to the Editor
Pierre Petelle/Vice-president of chemistry, CropLife Canada
Watchdog warns of crisis over bees, air pollution — Oct. 8
Gord Miller, the environmental commissioner of Ontario, said this week bees are the canary in the coal mine. If that is indeed the case, then he might want to rethink the alarm bell he raised in his new report.
Contrary to what the commissioner states, bee populations in this country have been growing for close to two decades and are currently more robust than ever. In Ontario, specifically, the honey bee population has actually increased 37 per cent since 2003. This according to Statistics Canada, which has been watching bee population numbers since the 1920s.
October 13, 2014
From: PRI/The Takeaway
Producer T.J. Raphael
Seven years ago, scientists became alarmed when whole honey bee colonies would suddenly die off — and it was happening at an alarming rate.
At the time, beekeepers began to report that the adult bee populations within a colony would suddenly disappear. In all cases, few adult worker bees were found in or near the colonies. This phenomenon became known as Colony Collapse Disorder.
October 10, 2014
Editor’s Note: The Alberta bee keepers are right. The scientific record demonstrates that varroa destructor, not neonics, is responsible for bee health decline.
A proposed class action suit against two farm chemical giants by Ontario honey producers has suffered a major setback with the announcement that the Alberta Beekeepers Commission doesn’t support the action.
The Alberta group, which accounts for 45 per cent of the Canadian honey industry, says it doesn’t endorse the class action suit because the seed treatment technology “significantly reduces honeybee exposure to pesticides.”
October 8, 2014
From: University of Maryland/College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences
UMD Researchers Seek to Understand Bee Deaths By Building ‘Sentinel Hives’
If you’ve read about honeybees recently, you’ve probably come across the term “Colony collapse disorder,” or CCD. It hit the mainstream lexicon a few years ago, but bee researchers started talking about it back in 2006.
October 6, 2014
From: The Guardian
Bugs devour rapeseed crop in Britain as EU ban on pesticide to save bees comes into force
Peter Kendall surveys his crop of oilseed rape. At this time of year, he should usually be looking at healthy green cotyledons (young shoots), but the leaves are full of holes.
The driest September on record has meant a plague of flea beetle. The pest is normally controlled by coating the seeds in a systemic pesticide called neonicotinoid.
The chemical, related to nicotine, is absorbed by the plant as it grows, making it resistant to bugs and viruses.
October 3, 2014
The world is experiencing a global bee crisis, and with bees responsible for almost a third of the food on our plate, this is a crisis that could affect us all. In the winter of 2013, areas of Europe lost up to 53% of their bee population. Similar decline has been recorded in the US. Astonishingly, Australia is the only country in the world where the bee population continues to thrive. As commercial beekeepers are pushed out of business abroad, Australian bees are exported to pollinate foreign farmlands. However, the fate of Australian bees hangs in the balance. It seems that the bee crisis is intricately tied to the way we have changed our planet. Catalyst investigates how modern agriculture methods, increasing diseases and the impending threat of the deadly varroa mite could destroy the last safe-haven for bees on the planet.
October 1, 2014