Archives – June, 2014
From: Planet Earth Online
A parasitic mite has helped spread a particularly nasty strain of a virus to countless honeybees, helping to wipe out hundreds of colonies, according to the latest study.
A UK team of researchers found that when the Varroa mite gets into hives, it massively amplifies a disease-causing strain of deformed wing virus (DWV), rendering bees unable to forage properly and leading to high colony losses.
The findings explain why the bloodsucking parasite, which has long been considered one of the biggest threats facing honeybees, is such bad news for bees and beekeepers.
June 27, 2014
Second in a series
Without adequate numbers of bees to move pollen, crops would be far less productive, and many fruits and vegetable would not ripen as evenly or as quickly. Without complete pollination, plants produce deformed fruits and vegetables that are not marketable. Thus, bees are tiny-yet-essential workhorses on Wisconsin farms.
New task force on pollinators
Last week, the White House announced a new Pollinator Health Task Force to focus federal efforts on research and action aimed at helping pollinators recover from their serious population decline. Vilsack along with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will co-chair this new task force, which will focus on research, public education, and public-private partnerships to increase and improve pollinator habitats.
June 25, 2014
Editor’s Note: See EPA’s announcement, EPA is Advancing Pollinator Science and Sharing Useful Information with Growers and Beekeepers
From: Bloomberg/BNA Chemical Regulation Reporter ®
By Patrick Ambrosio
The White House has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency, the Agriculture Department and other federal agencies to establish a national strategy on pollinator health.
President Barack Obama, in a memorandum issued June 20, ordered establishment of the Pollinator Health Task Force to develop the federal government’s strategy on understanding, preventing and recovering from pollinator population declines, foster public-private partnerships on pollinator health and educate the public on pollinator issues. The task force, which will consist of officials from at least 16 federal agencies, will be co-chaired by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
June 23, 2014
From: The White House
MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators
Pollinators contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies, from the environment. The problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment.
June 20, 2014
From: Farm Futures
National Pollinator Week prime time to focus on improving pollinator health, management of the varroa mite
CropLife America this week said continued focus on responsible management of the varroa mite and practical research to assist in the improvement of pollinator health is needed during this, National Pollinator Week.
Pollinator Week, which started Monday and runs until June 22, reinforces the importance of pollinators in U.S. agriculture.
“As discussions around pollinator health continue at the regulatory level, it is critical that we focus on finding workable solutions,” said Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA.
June 20, 2014
From: Roll Call | Commentary
By Jerry Weller
In June, we recognize National Pollinator Week. Some may wonder why.
Seven years ago, the U.S. Senate unanimously designated a week in June highlighting the vital role that pollinator species such as bees play in food production.
Last but importantly, neonics have been found not to be the source of bee’s health problems. Australia, notably the only continent not infested with the varroa destructor mite, who is to the honeybee what the malarial mosquito is to humans, concluded in a long-awaited APVMA report that “Australian honeybee populations are not in decline, in spite of increased use of [neonicotinoids] in agriculture and horticulture since the mid-1990s.”
June 18, 2014
NOD Apiary Products and BASF recently announced that MAQS® Beehive Strip has received green light for commercialization in key European countries. This marks a significant milestone in the partnership between the two companies, as European beekeepers will now have access to an innovative solution for controlling the Varroa mite. The mite has been designated as one of the major threats for honey bee health.
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June 15, 2014
From: The University of Saskatchewan
A University of Saskatchewan research collaboration with the Saskatraz Honeybee Breeding Project has identified how the Varroa destructor parasite suppresses the immune system in honeybees, a species that helps produce about one third of the world’s food crops through pollination. They have also developed a tool to help breeders select bees resistant to the parasite and associated disease-causing microorganisms.
“Our study offers insights into why Varroa-susceptible bees run into trouble,” said Scott Napper, one of the lead authors of a study published May 21 in the journal Frontiers in Genetics. Napper is a professor of biochemistry at the U of S and senior scientist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac).
June 13, 2014
From: The Western Producer
Group modifies position | Organization maintains position that too many acres receive seeds treated with neonicotinoids
DRESDEN, Ont. — The Ontario Beekeepers Association has backed away from its call for a ban on neonicotinoid seed treatments, according to the organization’s president.
Instead, it has adopted the National Farmers Union position.
Last fall, seed companies provided Canadian farmers with more choice by allowing seed to be pre-ordered with fungicide treatment but no insecticide treatment.
CropLife Canada spokesperson Nadine Sisk said farmers have always been able to buy untreated seed but have overwhelmingly chosen to use neonicotinoid-treated seed.
June 11, 2014
From: Pembrokeshire Beekeepers Association
The following email has been received from the National Bee Unit.
“Many of our Bee Inspectors have reported a high population of Varroa mites in colonies across England and Wales. We believe these high levels are largely due to many colonies continually rearing brood throughout the mild winter. Continuous brood rearing dramatically reduces the efficacy of winter Varroa treatments such as oxalic acid, which do not kill mites sealed in brood cells.
June 9, 2014