Archives – February, 2016
From: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
The global decline of honeybee populations has spurred a number of researchers to examine the role played by the parasitic varroa mite and the deadly Deformed Wing Virus it transmits. In early February a large-scale research article (Wilfert et al.) was published in the prestigious journal Science. This study provides insight on the geographical origin and evolutionary history of the mite and the virus. Dr. Ethel Villalobos, a bee researcher of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, was requested by the editors of Science to write an accompanying piece to this article, which was published in the same issue in a section called “Perspectives.”
February 26, 2016
From: Concordiensis | The official student newspaper of Union College Since 1877
By Jocelyne Akamaliza
Known for their role in cross pollination and production of honey, bees are at war with a virus that is decimating their colonies.
The parasitic mite Varroa destructor is the root to this nightmare. The mite is the carrier of the bee virus, Varroosis. It can be seen with the naked eye, and acts as an external parasite, while reproducing inside the bee.
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February 25, 2016
From: Albany Times-Union
The push to ban the whole class of neonicotinoid insecticides is based upon the erroneous conclusion that these chemicals are causing bee die-offs. This is simply not true. Ten years of intense scrutiny of the beekeeping industry has led to the same conclusion as in France: The honey bee colonies are unhealthy due to the heavy load of parasites and pathogens.
Many of the top authorities on honey bee health issues have weighed in on this. Various scientists, including Marla Spivak of the University of Minnesota; Walter Sheppard of Washington State University; and Richard Fell of Virginia Tech affirm that neonics are not a significant driver of honeybee decline.
February 24, 2016
From: Chicago Tonight | WTTW
Arruza: At this time of year the dead bees around the museum’s hives are part of the natural attrition that happens continuously in every bee colony. But a close look at the bees is required to see if they’ve become victims of the Varroa mite.
The tiny mite is the vampire of the honeybee world. The reddish-brown, crab-looking parasites attach to bees and their larvae sucking their equivalent of blood and infecting them with several potentially fatal viruses, the most worrisome of which is deformed wing virus.
February 23, 2016
From: Farm Bureau Arkansas
Gus Lorenz, Ph.D., Associate Head of Entomology, UA Division of Agriculture
Dr. Gus Lorenz has conducted extensive research into whether neonicotinoid insecticides when used as seed treatments on crops are harmful to honeybees
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February 22, 2016
With pollinators in decline around the world, conservationists turn to traditional farmers for answers.
Writer, Christina Selby |
To close the pollination gap, farmers who could afford it started to hire beekeepers from the neighboring warmer state of Punjabi to bring managed hives of European honeybees — Apis mellifera — to the valley during the apple bloom season. “The problem with this is that poor farmers are now paying for an ecosystem service that the native honeybee previously provided for free,” says Pradeep Mehta, research and program manager for Earthwatch Institute in India. Not only that, but the introduction of nonnative honeybees can bring with it disease and competition for nectar sources, reducing some populations of native bees even further and robbing ecosystems of important biodiversity.
February 19, 2016
From: The Franklin Star
AgCenter entomologist Sebe Brown said neonicotinoid insecticides are being scrutinized by environmentalists and the EPA because of concerns that they may be a threat to pollinators, such as honeybees. But he said research is not supporting fears that the neonicotinoids are harmful to bees.
Studies have shown that crops from seed treated with neonicotinoids have little to no traces of the chemical in the pollen, Brown said. “We’re not seeing the neonicotinoids making it to the first flowering stage.”
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February 18, 2016
From: San Diego Reader
February 17, 2016
From: The Daily Californian
February 16, 2016
By Gerrit van de Klashorst
The importance of bees and other pollinators for natural and agricultural ecosystems has been well documented. But during the past decades, pollinators have been in decline in North America and Europe. This decline is attributed to a number of factors. . . in particular Varroa mites.
Now the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica and Utrecht University are sponsoring an international course called “Bees and Pollination” in Costa Rica, to be held August 16-26, 2016. Students will carry out observations in the field and in the lab on flower biology and bee behavior. In addition to the pollination function of bees, they will study general bee biology and behavior.
February 15, 2016