Positive Buzz About Honey Bees

From: AgPro

Alison Wedig


“It is hard to look at the colony numbers and get a clear snapshot on overall bee health; what the numbers and charts don’t show is how much harder the beekeepers are working to keep those bees alive,” says Jeff Harris, Mississippi State University Extension research apiculturist and honey bee expert.

USDA research shows varroa mites were the top stressor for operations in 2017, though their impact on the colonies is down 11% this year compared with April through June 2016. While mites might be causing less harm than in the past, honey bee colonies will always face threats from this pest and numerous other pressures.

Leave a Comment November 8, 2017

Varroa Mite Presentation Slideshow, Notes, and Resources

From: Low Technology Institute

Last night, Scott gave a presentation to the Dane County Beekeeping Association about Varroa destructor, a parasite afflicting the European honeybee across the world. An audio recording was made, but due to technical difficulties (wrong microphone selected on recorder), it is not available. Instead, the notes with citations are available as well as links to a few resources for beekeepers.

Varroa-DCBA-7Nov11-FrontPagePresentation and Notes

Slideshow (20 MB)

Notes with References (105 kB)


Tools for Varroa Management, Honey Bee Health Coalition — The best all-around resource for basic information on Varroa for beekeepers.

Leave a Comment November 8, 2017

Honey Monthly Update –

From: USDA/AMS via Lancaster Farming


Seasoned beekeepers have observed that early on- back in July, many hives had high levels of mite infestation with the possibility that nosema disease was the main causal agent. Several keepers complained about slow growth in their hives. It would logically follow that a shortened lifespan of workers would consequently impact the foraging population and thus result in less nectar collection. Some experienced beekeepers advised treating with Fumigellin-B and consequently observed marked improvement after treatment for nosema. Nosema disease has been a growing concern, hence more difficult for beekeepers to identify and being blamed for hives failing to thrive.

Leave a Comment November 7, 2017

Public Comments and New Data to Inform EPA’s Understanding of Neonic Risks and Benefits


Neonicotinoids Status Update

Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee, November 1-2, 2017

Session 5e: Status Update on Neonicotinoids


Results from the preliminary pollinator assessments show:

• Potential on-field risk from some use patterns appear to be low

o Based on attractiveness to bees and agronomic practices

o Includes seed treatment uses

• Potential on-field risk from some use patterns remain uncertain: more data (to be reviewed in 2017-18) and further analysis will reduce these uncertainties

o Includes soil uses

• Potential on-field risk from some use patterns

o Includes foliar uses

Leave a Comment November 6, 2017

Honeybees are dying. In three minutes, a UMD student can tell you why.

Editor’s Note: See the video here.

From: The Diamondback
University of Maryland doctoral student Samuel Ramsey has conducted award-winning research on honeybees in Thailand. (Courtesy of John Consoli)



Within 10 years of the introduction of the invasive Varroa mite, almost all of the wild honeybee population worldwide was wiped out, Ramsey said. Some regions of the United States lost more than 80 percent of managed honeybee colonies due to an infestation in the mid-1990s.

Leave a Comment November 3, 2017

Huge News: Varroa feeds off of bees’ fat bodies NOT hemolymph

From: University of Maryland | UMD Right Now

UMD Doctoral Student’s Brief Video on his Revolutionary Finding about Bee Health Wins International Competition

Contacts: Mary Carroll-Mason


Ramsey conducts research on a tiny parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, which is the single biggest contributor to the decline in health of honey populations worldwide. Originating in Asia, the invasive Varroa mite is wreaking havoc on honey bee colonies, both by feeding on adult and immature bees, and by serving as a vector for five debilitating viruses.

Leave a Comment November 2, 2017

Repetition can often make it true — and forget about the science

From: The Western Producer

by Robert Arnason


The province of Ontario was pressured into the decision because the phrase “bee killing pesticides” was repeated in the traditional media and on social media millions of times.

After enough repetition, it eventually became the so-called “truth”.

Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment November 1, 2017

Is the Study “A worldwide survey of neonicotinoids in honey” Accurate?

From: Stuff.co.nz

Study uncovers puzzling case of insecticides in New Zealand honey



Four samples of New Zealand honey, three of which were mānuka, were tested. All were found to have the insecticides.

However, the findings are at odds with testing carried out on behalf of the Ministry for Primary Industries between 2014-16, which showed no traces of neonicotinoids in honey for sale.

Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment October 31, 2017

Justice for bees: French court to look at pesticide ban

Editor’s Note: Justice requires that science-based policies be grounded in high quality science. Unfortunately the EU’s pollinator protection policies are poorly founded. As the US Department of Agriculture explains:

The only basis for the proposed restrictions is EFSA’s risk assessment, which is based on a currently unapproved Bee Guidance Document. This theoretical guidance on how to conduct the risk assessment of the impact of Plant Protection Products on bees is not supported by many EU Member States.

From: EurActiv.fr

By Maxime Jacob

Leave a Comment October 30, 2017

Killing Bees to Save Them: Anti-pesticide activists place ideology over science

From: The Wellington Advertiser

Bees and neonics

Dear Editor:

RE: Better methods needed, Oct. 20.


The same conclusion appears in a major review on bee health released in 2017 by a team of University of Guelph researchers. Varroa, other pests/diseases and sometimes-inadequate bee management are the dominant causes of bee deaths. The obsession with neonics by some Ontario beekeepers is puzzling. It’s almost like they are more focused on anti-pesticide activism than on better bee health per se.


Leave a Comment October 27, 2017

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