Jeff Harris: Honey bee deaths predate ag chemicals

From: Delta Farm Press

| Delta Farm Press

First of a series

Environmental and anti-pesticide activists have made honey bee deaths “the poster child” of their ongoing crusade against ag chemicals, particularly neonicotinoids, says Jeff Harris.

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“In the long history of man’s relationship with honey bees, going back to Aristotle, who wrote the first manual on beekeeping, there have been many instances of unexplained colony losses — and many  occurred long before agricultural pesticides came into widespread use.

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Leave a Comment July 27, 2016

Mites are major bee threat

From: Wilkes Journal-Patriot

Jule Hubbard

Varroa mites are the most devastating honeybee parasite and the key to having healthy hives is keeping their numbers low, said an N.C. Department of Agriculture official during a recent program at the Wilkes Agricultural Center in Wilkesboro.

“July is a critical time to knock varroa populations down to preserve bee colonies,” added Greg Fariss, one of four NCDA bee inspectors.

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Leave a Comment July 26, 2016

Honey bee parasite threatens horticulture industry [Australia]

From: North Queensland Register

For more than 10 years now the national government and its agencies have worked to raise awareness about the threat of Varroa mite. At many forums horticulture has been warned of the ramifications about when (not if) Varroa mite establishes in Australia. We now have the first evidence from Biosecurity Queensland that this devastating pest is here.

While we are dealing with Varroa jacobsoni rather than Varroa destructor, the experts say it is just a matter of time before jacobsoni will cause as much damage as destructor.

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Leave a Comment July 25, 2016

Beehive Size May Contribute to Colony Collapse Disorder

From: Cox’s Honey

In recent years, Colony Collapse Disorder has been blamed on a couple of factors. The first factor, and one that research has proven correct, is neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are chemicals found in agricultural pesticides. The second factor is the varroa mite, a microscopic parasite that attaches itself to bees, that feeds off their host and off of the honey bees’ brood.

Leave a Comment July 22, 2016

University: Marianas honeybees remain healthy

From: The Guam Daily Post

Samples from bee colonies test free of deformed wing virus

The University of Guam College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CNAS) is uncovering some very interesting information about honeybee health in the Mariana Islands.

Chris Rosario, research associate with the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center at CNAS, has been surveying bees on Guam and in the region as part of the Honeybee Health Survey funded by USDA-APHIS.

Rosario has been sampling domestic and feral hives to verify the presence or absence of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, which uses its piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on the blood of honeybees and their larva.

Leave a Comment July 21, 2016

Varroa mites found at second north Queensland site, prompting expanded search for pest

From: ABC News

by David Chen

Biosecurity Queensland is boosting its efforts to find and destroy Asian Honey bees in north Queensland after the discovery of more varroa mites.

Tests on an Asian honey bee hive found in the backyard of a house in the Townsville suburb of Annandale have confirmed the presence of the potentially destructive pest.

Another hive, which also had the mite, was found last month at the Port of Townsville.

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Leave a Comment July 20, 2016

Potato leafhoppers and mites on the rise in chestnut

From: Michigan State University | Extension

Potato leafhopper numbers are up and European red mites are visible in Michigan chestnut orchards

by Erin Lizotte, Michigan State University Extension

Potato leafhoppers in chestnuts

Like many plants, chestnuts are sensitive to the saliva of potato leafhoppers that is injected while feeding. Damage to leaf tissue can cause reduced photosynthesis, which can impact production, affect nut quality and damage the tree.

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. . . Neonicotinoids (e.g., Admire, Nuprid, Porvado and Assail) are longer lasting and narrow spectrum, making them a solid choice for management.

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Leave a Comment July 19, 2016

CATCH THE BUZZ – Australia Varroa find is jacobsoni, NOT destructor

From: Bee Culture | The Magazine of American Beekeeping

From Coloss
The four species of Varroa: a. V. jacobsoni dorsal view; b. V. jacobsoni ventral view; c. V. destructor dorsal view; d. V. destructor ventral view; e. V. rindereri; f. V. underwoodi. Photo: Denis Anderson. 

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Confirmation from the federal and Queensland governments and industry sources that the two mites in a feral Asian honey bee hive in Townsville, 830 miles north of Brisbane, were jacobsoni means Australia has again dodged the Varroa bullet.

Leave a Comment July 18, 2016

Passive laboratory surveillance in Spain: pathogens as risk factors for honey bee colony collapse

From: Journal of Apicultural Research

Volume 54, Issue 5, 2015

Passive laboratory surveillance in Spain: pathogens as risk factors for honey bee colony collapse

Vigilancia epidemiológica pasiva en España: los patógenos como un factor de riesgo para el colapso de las colonias de abejas melíferas

Almudena Ceperoa, Raquel Martín-Hernándezab, Carolina Bartoloméc, Tamara Gómez-Morachoacd, Laura Barriose, José Bernalf, María Teresa Martínf, Aránzazu Meanag & Mariano Higesa*

Leave a Comment July 15, 2016

USDA Develops Database for Bumble Bees

From: Pest Control Technology

The USBombus database, a USDA-ARS project, arose out of concern over the national decline of four Bombus species.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Look up the word “bumble,” and the definition may read something like “To move or act in a confused, awkward or clumsy manner.” But the bumble bee, a member of the genus Bombus, is anything but clumsy. In fact, the insects are expert aviators, alighting with precision inside flowers and vigorously shaking pollen loose from their stamens.
Some bumble bee species are pollinating professionals on par with honey bees. At the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research Unit in Logan, Utah, scientists are conducting multi-faceted studies on Bombus species of all shapes, sizes and colors to ensure their wellbeing and usefulness to agriculture—especially in pollinating greenhouse-grown plants, primarily tomatoes.

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Leave a Comment July 14, 2016

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