Archives – February, 2016

UH Manoa researcher provides global perspective on honeybee viruses

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.”

Leave a Comment February 26, 2016

The honey bee virus, Varroosis, decimates bee colonies in US

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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Leave a Comment February 25, 2016

The idea that neonics threaten bees a misguided notion

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.

Leave a Comment February 24, 2016

Local Beekeepers Guard Against Fatal Diseases

From: Chicago Tonight | WTTW

Eddie Arruza

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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.

Leave a Comment February 23, 2016

PODCAST: Neonicotinoids and Honeybees

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

Listen to Podcast

Leave a Comment February 22, 2016

The newest strategy for saving bees is really, really old

From: enisa

With pollinators in decline around the world, conservationists turn to traditional farmers for answers.

 Christina Selby | @christinaselby

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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.

Leave a Comment February 19, 2016

New EPA regulations highlight crop producer meeting [Louisiana]

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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Leave a Comment February 18, 2016

Why half of San Diego’s bees are gone

From: San Diego Reader

The success of California farms is at risk

Leave a Comment February 17, 2016

Researchers find link between honey bee virus and colony trafficking

From: The Daily Californian

Leave a Comment February 16, 2016

An Opportunity to Study Bees and Pollination in Costa Rica

From: Entomology Today

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.

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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.

Leave a Comment February 15, 2016

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