From: University of Florida
common name: varroa mite
scientific name: Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman (Arachnida: Acari: Varroidae)
The varroa mite, Varroa destructor Anderson and Truemann, is the world’s most devastating pest of Western honey bees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Although the varroa complex includes multiple species, V. destructor is the species responsible for the vast majority of the damage attributed to mites from this genus. Until 2000, it was believed that V. jacobsoni Oudemans was the mite responsible for widespread honey bee colony losses. However, taxonomic work published in 2000 (Anderson and Trueman 2000) indicated that a previously-unidentified species of varroa (V. destructor) was responsible for the damage, while V. jacobsoni was shown to be only moderately harmful to western honey bees. This publication is limited to V. destructor.
July 28, 2014
From: The Globe and Mail
The reason for the higher reported bee losses in Ontario remains unclear (The Plight Of The Honey Bee – July 25). Pointing the finger at pesticides as the main culprit doesn’t serve anyone’s interests.
In Quebec and Manitoba, where insecticide-treated corn is grown similar to that in Ontario, overwintering numbers were more in line with accepted averages.
There are a number of threats to bees, including varroa mite, disease and weather. An important opportunity to find solutions to the multitude of challenges facing bee health is missed when neonics are continually singled out.
July 25, 2014
From: The Wall Street Journal/Opinion
Populations of the pollinators are not declining and a ban on neonic pesticides would devastate U.S. agriculture.
By Henry I. Miller
On June 20 the White House issued a presidential memorandum creating a Pollinator Health Task Force and ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to “assess the effect of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bee and other pollinator health and take action, as appropriate.”
Why the fuss over bees? Is the U.S. in the midst of a bee-pocalypse? The science says no. Bee populations in the U.S. and Europe remain at healthy levels for reproduction and the critical pollination of food crops and trees. But during…
July 23, 2014
From: FARS News Agency
TEHRAN (FNA)- Many beekeepers feed their honey bees sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup when times are lean inside the hive. This practice has come under scrutiny, however, in response to colony collapse disorder, the massive — and as yet not fully explained — annual die-off of honey bees in the U.S. and Europe.
Many beekeepers feed their honey bees sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup when times are lean inside the hive. This practice has come under scrutiny, however, in response to colony collapse disorder, the massive — and as yet not fully explained — annual die-off of honey bees in the U.S. and Europe. Some suspect that inadequate nutrition plays a role in honey bee declines.
July 21, 2014
From: The Wall Street Journal
The green campaign against insecticides is based on fearmongering, not science.
By Richard Tren, Mr. Tren is a director of Africa Fighting Malaria.
Is a relatively new class of insecticides, known as neonicotinoids or “neonics,” harming bees and other wildlife? That’s what the International Union for the Conservation of Nature claimed in a recent press release announcing the results of a meta-study the organization conducted earlier this year. One might have expected the press release to be accompanied by the underlying scientific studies. But that wasn’t the case.
July 18, 2014
From: BBC/Nature Features
By Zoe Gough Reporter, BBC Nature
New research suggests there may be no wild honey bees living in England or Wales, but how much does their disappearance matter?
Varroa mites (Varroa destructor) entered the country in 1992, and are considered to be the most destructive parasite in honey bees and a major cause of winter colony loss.
Dr Thompson found that the feral and non-treated managed colonies had a significantly higher level of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), which is transmitted to bees by the varroa mite, than the managed colonies that were treated.
July 16, 2014
From: The Southern Illinoisan
By Scott Fitzgerald
A guest speaker at this year’s Heartland Apicultural Society conference at SIU, society Chairman Zachary Huang of the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University has researched CCD.
“I calculated three years ago in Michigan, commercial pollination for crops such as cherries, blueberries, apples and all vegetables amounted to $1 billion annually,” Huang said. ”I think the $15 billion total they calculated for the entire U.S. crop in 2000 is underestimated.”
July 14, 2014
From: Australian Broadcasting Company/National Rural News
Editor’s Note: Listen to the interview with USDA Research Entomologist Jay Evans here.
Genetic research done by Dr Jay Evans from the United States Department of Agriculture, has located bees able to survive the deadly Varroa mite virus
July 11, 2014
Beekeepers in Australia are being told to breed healthier bees to protect themselves from a colony killing pest.
Australia is the last country free of the deadly Varroa mite that spreads a virus capable of wiping out honey production.
Dr Jay Evans from the United States Department of Agriculture, says if this country wants to protect the honey industry it needs to act now.
“So there can be selection for resistance to the virus now, even prior to the arrival of mites and that may actually give a buffer of healthy bees in the unfortunate event that mites actually become established in Australia” he said.
July 9, 2014
Posted by Sara LaJeunesse-Penn State
Some honey bee colonies in Newfoundland, Canada, are free of invasive parasites found elsewhere in the world. Scientists say the discovery offers a unique opportunity to investigate honey bee health.
“Invasive parasites—such as Nosema ceranae, a fungus, and Varroa destructor, a mite—have incurred heavy economic penalties on the honey bee industry via colony losses and reduced productivity of surviving colonies, and both parasites threaten global food security because of reduced pollination services to agriculture,” says Nancy Ostiguy, associate professor of entomology at Penn State.
July 7, 2014