Archives – September, 2014
Dear Administrator McCarthy,
The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness has prepared the attached Memorandum on bee health to assist you in responding to the President. Please note that virtually all the information presented herein is based upon documents prepared by national governments studying the same issue.
We look forward to working with the Task Force in using the best available science to protect pollinators.
Member, Board of Advisors
Center for Regulatory Effectiveness
September 29, 2014
Henry I. Miller
If neonicotinoid pesticides were banned–as activists are demanding–U.S. farmers’ productivity would drop and they would resort to more toxic chemicals, the nation’s agricultural economy would be damaged, food prices would increase, and bees would be much worse off.
Magazine editor and satirist H.L. Mencken was right that there is an easy solution to every human problem—and that it is invariably neat, plausible, and wrong. In that category is the insistence of anti-pesticide crusaders and the organic food industry that federal regulators should ban neonicotinoids (“neonics” for short), the mostly widely used class of pesticides.
September 24, 2014
From: The News Star
BATON ROUGE – Agricultural producers, beekeepers and pesticide applicators are working together in an effort to minimize the damage chemicals may have on honeybee populations in Louisiana.
LSU AgCenter entomologist Sebe Brown said the Louisiana Pollinator Cooperative Conservation Program was created as a way to prevent beekeepers and pollinators from exposure to pesticides from agricultural operations.
“The problem or situation began as a result of a lot of interest generated by EPA and other environmental groups as a result of colony collapse disorder,” Brown said. “This is an umbrella term describing the total mortality of a beehive.”
September 22, 2014
From: Government News (Australia)
By Marie Sansom
Australian honey might be regarded as among the world’s tastiest and purest sticky spreads, but there are mounting fears inadequate funding for countermeasures to keep out introduced pests could be a biosecurity disaster in the making.
The Australian honey bee industry is pushing for an increase to a honey levy paid by larger commercial honey producers in order to defend its beehives from disease and keep Australian crops and honey pure.
September 19, 2014
From: PLOS One
Nurit Eliash, Nitin Kumar Singh, Yosef Kamer, Govardhana Reddy Pinnelli, Erika Plettner, Victoria Soroker
The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is considered to be one of the most significant threats to apiculture around the world. Chemical cues are known to play a significant role in the host-finding behavior of Varroa. The mites distinguish between bees from different task groups, and prefer nurses over foragers. We examined the possibility of disrupting the Varroa – honey bee interaction by targeting the mite’s olfactory system. In particular, we examined the effect of volatile compounds, ethers of cis 5-(2′-hydroxyethyl) cyclopent-2-en-1-ol or of dihydroquinone, resorcinol or catechol. We tested the effect of these compounds on the Varroa chemosensory organ by electrophysiology and on behavior in a choice bioassay. The electrophysiological studies were conducted on the isolated foreleg. In the behavioral bioassay, the mite’s preference between a nurse and a forager bee was evaluated.
September 17, 2014
From: Southern Weekly
By Olivia Shying
WHEN talking about bees, the majority think about about protecting themselves from unwanted stings.
Now CropLife Australia is encouraging people to think about it differently – launching an initiative to protect the pollinators.
CropLife Australia ‘s new pollinator initiative is aimed at ensuring Australia’s bee colony remains healthy and strong.
To ensure this they have released a Seed Treatment Stewardship Strategy that ensures farmers have access to practice management guidance.
Chief of CropLife Australia Matthew Cossey said this strategy was the first set of guidelines made available to farmers.
September 15, 2014
U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture for Valdosta Today:
For those in agriculture, harvest season is a busy time. Farmers nurture their fields all year, which leads to feeding our families and much of the world. Most growers involved in horticulture production know that their long hours are matched by the non-stop effort of bees, which remain a critical component of our nation’s food supply. The harvest of fruits, nuts, vegetables, ornamentals, and greenhouse crops are dependent upon the bee colonies in the United States.
September 12, 2014
by Bob Yirka
A small team of researchers with members from several countries has identified the oldest known instance of a type of mite fossil. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the team describes how they obtained a piece of amber with an ant embedded inside of it along with a mite that was attached to the ant’s head, and what their work revealed.
September 10, 2014
From: Crestville News Bulletin
By SHEILA DUNNING / University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension
Watch for changes on pesticide labels that contain pollinator-protection language.
Language to protect pollinators has always been on the label, but now the verbiage specifically prohibits foliar applications while bees or flowers are present, or until all petals have fallen off. Presence of all blooming plants, including weeds such as clover and Spanish needle, must be evaluated before treating with certain pesticides.
Read Complete Article
September 8, 2014
From: The Journal of Experiemental Biology
R. Cervo1,*,C. Bruschini1,2,F. Cappa1,S. Meconcelli1,G. Pieraccini2,D. Pradella3 andS. Turillazzi1,2
Honeybee disappearance is one of the major environmental and economic challenges this century has to face. The ecto-parasitic mite Varroa destructor represents one of the main causes of the worldwide beehive losses. Although halting mite transmission among beehives is of primary importance to save honeybee colonies from further decline, the natural route used by mites to abandon a collapsing colony has not been extensively investigated so far. Here, we explored whether, with increasing mite abundance within the colony, mites change their behaviour to maximize the chances of leaving a highly infested colony. We show that, at low mite abundance, mites remain within the colony and promote their reproduction by riding nurses that they distinguish from foragers by different chemical cuticular signatures. When mite abundance increases, the chemical profile of nurses and foragers tends to overlap, promoting mite departure from exploited colonies by riding pollen foragers.
September 5, 2014