Archives – October, 2014
By Fiona Dillon
Bee-keepers are being warned to be on alert for the small-hive beetle which could annihilate bee stocks if it arrives in Ireland.
The beetle, which is indigenous to Africa, wiped out tens of thousands of honey bee colonies in the US in the first few years after it became established there – and now it has arrived in Europe.
It can cause major damage to combs, stored honey and pollen.
And if a beetle infestation is sufficiently heavy, they may cause bees to abandon their hive.
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October 31, 2014
From: The Royal Gazette
By Harrison EGN Isaac Sr
The destructive winds of Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricane Gonzalo, which hit Bermuda this month, has caused hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to businesses, Government building, schools, tourist accommodations, visitor attractions, and to personal properties.
It was reported earlier this year that during the past six years Bermuda had lost 65 percent of its managed honeybee hives, which is believed to be the result of the dreaded Varroa mite (Varroa destructor), an external honeybee parasitic mite. This mite attaches itself to the bee and sucks what some call the “bee’s blood” which in itself does not kill the bee, but weakens its immune system and renders it susceptible to viruses that are introduced by the mite.
October 29, 2014
Editor’s Note: The following article discusses scientists who are reluctant to discuss the environmental friendliness of neonicotinoids because of threats to their careers from “true ‘believers and zealots’ hype the neonic risk and use ‘their research to make an issue where none exists, or make it larger to garner press for the ego and funds for the lab.'” Fortunately, there are environmental regulators around the world who are willing to evaluate bee health decline based on the best available science. The views of leading environmental regylatory agencies on bees, varroa desctructor and neonics are available here.
From: The Western Producer
October 27, 2014
Editor’s Note: For an analysis of neonics and bee health based on the findings of national regulatory and science agencies around the world, see here.
From: The Western Producer
Canadian agriculture takes pride in this country’s regulatory system, which puts science at the forefront when making decisions.
The implication is that scientists set aside emotion, religion and politics and make rational conclusions based on empirical evidence.
But can scientists ever truly separate themselves from emotion and politics? After all, scientists are humans who live in the real world full of passion and emotion.
October 24, 2014
Editor’s Note: New Zealand has used neonicotinoids for two decades. The threats posed to the country’s bees are from varroa and other parasites and pathogens.
From: Federated Farmers
Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products into New Zealand, not only does it underscore how serious Biosecurity is taken here, it could have prevented an economic disaster.
October 22, 2014
Editor’s Note: The following article discussing CRE’s comments to the Presidential Bee Health Task Force is in French. A Google translation of the article is available here.
Le Président Obama a mis en place en juin dernier une task force sur le déclin des pollinisateurs, leur demandant de proposer un plan d’action avant la fin de l’année. Cette task force avait posé la question suivante au « Center for Regulatory Effectiveness », organisme fédéral de contrôle et de surveillance des agences fédérales réalisant aussi des expertises :
« Is Varroa Destructor or Neonicotinoid Pesticides Responsible for Bee Health Decline?”
October 20, 2014
From: The Waterloo Region Record
Terry Daynard farms in Wellington County and is a former associate dean, research and innovation, at the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph.
In an Oct. 11 Record column (Neonic pesticide ban vital for bee health, as well as our own), some environmental groups called for a ban on use of neonicotinoid insecticides.
They support this with questionable information and claims.
This column provides an alternative perspective.
But to state that neonics are “the primary cause” of increased bee mortality — especially over-winter mortality — is simply not supported by science.
October 17, 2014
From: The Recorder
By TOM RELIHAN/Recorder Staff
DEERFIELD — It was the early 1990s and America’s honey bees were under attack.
Dan Conlon, owner of Warm Colors Apiary in Deerfield, watched as hive after hive of his fellow beekeeper’s stock succumbed to the Varroa destructor, a parasitic mite against which European bees are virtually defenseless.
The mites, which Conlon said are native to Asia and had probably entered the U.S. as stowaways on a shipment of bees, had launched a full-scale invasion that decimated hives across the country and drove many professional beekeepers into bankruptcy. In just three years, he said, the country lost over 4 million beehives.
October 15, 2014
From: Waterloo Region Record/Letter to the Editor
Pierre Petelle/Vice-president of chemistry, CropLife Canada
Watchdog warns of crisis over bees, air pollution — Oct. 8
Gord Miller, the environmental commissioner of Ontario, said this week bees are the canary in the coal mine. If that is indeed the case, then he might want to rethink the alarm bell he raised in his new report.
Contrary to what the commissioner states, bee populations in this country have been growing for close to two decades and are currently more robust than ever. In Ontario, specifically, the honey bee population has actually increased 37 per cent since 2003. This according to Statistics Canada, which has been watching bee population numbers since the 1920s.
October 13, 2014
From: PRI/The Takeaway
Producer T.J. Raphael
Seven years ago, scientists became alarmed when whole honey bee colonies would suddenly die off — and it was happening at an alarming rate.
At the time, beekeepers began to report that the adult bee populations within a colony would suddenly disappear. In all cases, few adult worker bees were found in or near the colonies. This phenomenon became known as Colony Collapse Disorder.
October 10, 2014