Archives – June, 2017

USDA Invests $6.8 Million for Research and Extension Grants on Pollinator Health

From: United States Department of Agriculture | National Institute of Food and Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C. June 20, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced seven grants totaling $6.8 million for research and extension projects to sustain healthy populations of pollinators, which are crucial to the nation’s food security and environmental health. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Leave a Comment June 23, 2017

Study Suggests Modern Beekeeping Gives Varroa Mites Ideal Conditions to Spread

From: Growing Produce

Posted By:

As the managed honey bee industry continues to grapple with significant annual colony losses, the Varroa destructor mite is emerging as the leading culprit. And, it turns out, the very nature of modern beekeeping may be giving the parasite the exact conditions it needs to spread nearly beyond control.

In an article recently published in the Entomological Society of America’s Environmental Entomology, researchers argue that the Varroa mite has “co-opted” several honeybee behaviors to its own benefit, allowing it to disperse widely even though the mite itself is not a highly mobile insect. The mite’s ability to hitchhike on wandering bees, the infections it transmits to bees, and the density of colonies in managed beekeeping settings, make for a deadly combination.

Leave a Comment June 22, 2017

Regulatory process of insecticides: let’s apply some logic and social science

From: Bio Based Press | Towards green growth through sustainability and innovation


Leave a Comment June 21, 2017

“Our findings. . .serve as a caution against evaluating the toxicity of a particular pesticide based on the findings from a single ‘model’ species such as honeybees or bumblebees.”

From: PeerJ | The award-winning biological and medical sciences journal

Larval exposure to field-realistic concentrations of clothianidin has no effect on development rate, over-winter survival or adult metabolic rate in a solitary bee, Osmia bicornis

Elizabeth Nicholls1, Robert Fowler1, Jeremy E. Niven1, James D. Gilbert1,2 and Dave Goulson1

Leave a Comment June 20, 2017

Pesticide regulation talks threaten UK food supply chain


Poor EU decision making about the future of crop protection products could jeopardise the UK’s supply of cost-effectively produced food and cost farmers more than £1bn, warned the National Farmers Union (NFU).

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Leave a Comment June 19, 2017

Why are half of NJ’s honeybees dying each year?


Frank Mortimer is a Bergen County beekeeper and President of the Northeast NJ Beekeepers Association. In this video, filmed at his Upper Saddle River beehives, he talks about his interest in bees and what the stinging insects do in their hives. Kevin R. Wexler/

Nearly half the honeybees in New Jersey die off each year, significantly outpacing the national average and perplexing scientists, who worry the losses could impact the state’s agricultural industry.


There could be many reasons for the deaths, but the consensus is that a parasite that is deadly to honeybees, the varroa destructor, has spread like wildfire throughout the state.

Leave a Comment June 16, 2017

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Biology Research Abuzz


Postdoctoral researchers Kaira Wagoner and Esmaeil Amiri insert new frames into an experimental hive at UNCG’s beeyard. 


UNCG Professor of Biology Olav Rueppell and his research team have just received a nearly $1 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate honey bees’ natural defenses against their main pest, the Varroa mite, and how to activate them.

Varroa mites are tiny, amber-colored circular creatures that live on the bodies of the honey bees. They feed on the bees’ blood and amplify a colony’s level of infection from illnesses such as Deformed Wing Virus or Israeli Acute Paralysis.

Leave a Comment June 15, 2017

Bear Creek Nature Center event pays tribute to pollinators

From: The Gazette

By: Rachel Riley


Scientists are still debating what exactly is causing bees to die off. Habitat destruction and pesticide use are two theories. Hench blames the varroa mite, a tiny parasite that latches onto bees and can transmit harmful diseases.

Joanne Scanlan emerged from Hench’s presentation excitedly reciting facts about the life cycle of bees and the destructive varroa mite.

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Leave a Comment June 14, 2017

CATCH THE BUZZ – Human activity is a key driver in the spread of pathogens afflicting the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) says OZ researcher.

From: Bee Culture

By Entomology Today

The Varroa destructor mite (shown above attached to bee) is a widespread parasite of European honey bees (Apis mellifera). Poor management practices have enabled the spread of V. destructor and other bee pathogens, an Australian bee researcher argues. (Photo credit: Stephen Ausmus, USDA Agricultural Research Service,


In a research essay published last week in the Journal of Economic Entomology, Robert Owen argues that human activity is a key driver in the spread of pathogens afflicting the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) and recommends a series of collective actions necessary to stem their spread. While some research seeks a “magic bullet” solution to honey bee maladies such as Colony Collapse Disorder, “many of the problems are caused by human action and can only be mitigated by changes in human behavior,” Owen says.

Leave a Comment June 13, 2017

Health Canada holds off on neonicotinoid ban

From: The Western Producer

Agency seeks more information before rendering a decision on imidacloprid use in Canada


A Health Canada spokesperson didn’t provide a date for the final decision. The public and agriculture industry representatives submitted comments about the PMRA proposal from late November until the last week of March. Health Canada experts continue to review that information.


Many grower associations told the PMRA, an agency operating under Health Canada, that nationwide phase-out of imidacloprid, over five years, was too severe and there wasn’t sufficient evidence to justify such a ban.

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Leave a Comment June 12, 2017

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