Neonic replacement not popular with farmers or beekeepers

From: Manitoba Co-Operator

They’re too expensive, ineffective and still harmful to bees, to cite just some of the concerns expressed


Mark Brock, chairman of Grain Farmers of Ontario, told the Commons agriculture committee that replacement for imidacloprid is far more expensive and less effective.

“There are no alternatives in the marketplace or in the technology pipeline that provide the same level of protection and safety,” he said.

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Leave a Comment March 22, 2017

In a Laboratory Test, Chronic Exposure to Imidacloprid Improves Immune Response of Bumble Bees

Editor’s Note: The complete study “Chronic exposure to a neonicotinoid increases expression of antimicrobial peptide genes in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens” by William R. Simmons & David R. Angelini is available here.

From: Colby College

Now Collaborators, Professor and Protégé Continue to Explore

By Gerry Boyle ’78


“We got data and we got the answer to the question,” Angelini said of the study published March 21 in the journal Scientific Reports, which is affiliated with the prestigious journal Nature. “The surprising thing scientifically was that we had an effect of pesticide exposure—but in the opposite direction of what we had predicted.”

Leave a Comment March 21, 2017

Delaware announces new state apiarist

Editor’s Note: See here for more information on the essential role of government scientists in advancing American agriculture.

From: Delaware Department of Agriculture

Dover – The Delaware Department of Agriculture announced today that they have hired a new State Apiarist, Meghan McConnell, a native of Millville, NJ. In her position, Meghan will be inspecting bee colonies, conducting surveys for the presence of honey bee parasites, and is responsible for securing samples of suspect colonies to determine suitable measures to control and/or eradicate disease. The State Apiarist supervises the colony registration program and certifies honey bee colonies that enter or exit the state.

Leave a Comment March 20, 2017

A pan-European epidemiological study reveals honey bee colony survival depends on beekeeper education and disease control

From: PLOS One

Antoine Jacques, Marion Laurent, EPILOBEE Consortium, Magali Ribière-Chabert, Mathilde Saussac, Stéphanie Bougeard, Giles E. Budge, Pascal Hendrikx, Marie-Pierre Chauzat

Leave a Comment March 17, 2017

Federal Scientists: Essential to Agriculture

Science Detectives Investigate a ‘Mitey’ Big Problem

By Jan Suszkiw

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are hot on the trail of a honey bee killer, and their detective work has taken them from hives in Tucson, Arizona, to those in Bismarck, North Dakota.


The Varroa mite is public enemy number one to not only honey bees nationwide, but also the 90-plus flowering crops that depend on the insects to pollinate them, including apples, almonds, blueberries and cantaloupe.

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Leave a Comment March 16, 2017

Neonic Bans Do NOT Protect Bees: Bee numbers in Austria to see enormous losses

From: Xinhua 

VIENNA, March 14 (Xinhua) — Austria is to see enormous losses to its bee population this year, with experts anticipating a high death rate, the Krone newspaper reported on Tuesday.


In addition, he said the phenomenon will be seen across the entire European Union.


Boigenzahn said the notably cold 2016/2017 winter would not have had much effect, with bees able to withstand significant cold particularly with stable temperatures. Instead, mites are mostly responsible, particularly the varroa destructor variety.

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Leave a Comment March 15, 2017

Australian researcher working to immunise honey bees, protect them from varroa mite

From: ABC News | Rural

By Anna Vidot

The race is on to prepare Australian bees to survive any future incursion of varroa mite.

A young scientist is working to immunise Australian honeybees against killer viruses, to prepare them for any future incursion of the deadly varroa mite.

The parasite has spread around the world, causing colony collapse and threatening agricultural industries that rely on bees for pollination.

Dr Emily Remnant, a research scientist based at the University of Sydney, has received the Agriculture Minister’s science and innovation award in recognition of her work.

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Leave a Comment March 14, 2017

Talking Biotech: Habitat loss, parasitic mites — not GMOs, pesticides — prime culprits in butterfly, bee losses

From: Genetic Literacy Project

Monarch butterfly numbers in North America have decreased and the rate of over-winter honey bee colony loss has doubled in recent years. GMO crops and pesticides such as neonicotinoids have been blamed, but what does the most up-to-date science have to stay about their relationships with these important pollinators? It’s complicated, says Dr. Ric Bessin, an entomology professor at the University of Kentucky, but a host of other factors, from monarch habitat loss in Mexico to parasitic mites in bees, are likely more important.

Hosted by Dr. Paul Vincelli.

Listen to #Podcast

Leave a Comment March 13, 2017

Bee populations thrive

From: The Mountain Mail

by Cassie Baldauf Special to The Mail


“When a beekeeper loses hives, it’s most likely due to poor management, not pesticides,” Johnston said. “Often beginning beekeepers don’t understand how to control pests.”

Mites pose biggest threat

The largest threat to the bee industry is not pesticides, but the varroa mite, he clarified. The small mites are similar to a tiny tick and can destroy a hive within three months.

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Leave a Comment March 10, 2017


Dr. Jack Rath of Betterbee gives a detailed explanation of the the origin, biology, and treatment for Varroa destructor in Apis mellifera hives.

Leave a Comment March 9, 2017

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