Archives – October, 2012

USDA, EPA host honey bee health conference

From: Western Farm Press


The Federal Colony Collapse Disorder Steering Committee (CCD SC) held a national stakeholder conference seeking input on issues involving honey bee health.


The CCD SC (comprised of representatives from USDA and EPA) invited stakeholder representatives from beekeepers, advocacy groups, state agencies, beekeeper manufacturers, commodity groups, agrochemical producers and government/academia researchers to Arlington, Va., for a two-day session to review progress and gather input for future research needs. Opening remarks were presented by USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe and National Institute of Food & Agriculture Director Sonny Ramaswamy. The CCD SC organized breakout groups to focus on items in nutrition, biology, genetics/breeding, pesticides, pathogens and arthropods.

Leave a Comment October 31, 2012

Explosion in Urban Beekeeping Raises Concerns for Honeybee Population

From: Explore Utah Science


Millions of buzzing residents have moved into Utah, as the number of new beekeepers registering with the state has increased eightfold since 2006.


That’s good news for local farmers and gardeners who depend on honeybees to pollinate their crops. The bad news is that the new arrivals could be bringing with them a rash of problems.


Several honeybee experts worry that in the hands of novice beekeepers, all those hives could become incubators for viruses and pests ready to hitch a ride to any of the thousands of commercial hives around the state.

Leave a Comment October 31, 2012

Viruses and Viral Diseases of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

Editor’s Note:  For access to the complete article from SpringerLink, see here.


From: Recent Advances in Entomological Research


Yanping Chen



Viruses pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of honey bees, Apis mellifera, the most economically valuable pollinators of agricultural and horticultural crops worldwide. Recently, honey bee viruses have gotten a lot of international attention due to the significant disease status that viruses cause in honey bees and the recent observation of the tight correlation between Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in the U.S. and Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus. Over the past decades, considerable progress has been made in our understanding of virus infections in honey bees. This review chapter summarizes previous findings and recent progress in the understanding of the morphology, genome organization, taxonomy, transmission, and pathogenesis of honey bee viruses. The prospects of future research and challenges associated with the study of honey bee viruses are also discussed in detail.

Leave a Comment October 29, 2012

CRE Comments on the European Food Safety Authority Risk Assessment on Bees

The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) recently submitted comments to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on its Draft Guidance Document on the Risk Assessment of Plant Protection Products on Bees.

In its comments, the CRE concluded that EFSA’s initiative to address the problem of limited data regarding pollinator exposure under its current approach to risk assessment by incorporating external datasets, is a model to be emulated by the EPA and other government regulators.  The CRE encourages EFSA to continue to work with stakeholders to harness the resources of the private sector by incorporating existing research and datasets into the modeling of its risk assessment framework.

Leave a Comment October 26, 2012

Bee Health Surveillance Results Promising


By: Lisa Corkish


The Honey bees kept on the Isle of Man have enjoyed good health whilst that of those on neighbouring Islands has significantly declined with the spread of new diseases and pests, most notably Varroa.  Should the Varroa mite get into bees here it is most unlikely that it could be eradicated and it would become a chronic cause of disease and reduced production.


Leave a Comment October 26, 2012

Better bee health begins and ends with science, not soundbites

From: The Hill’s Congress Blog


By Barbara Glenn, CropLife America


Earlier this month, scientists, regulators, beekeepers and others gathered in Alexandria, Va., for the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health. The meeting, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), focused on the latest findings and information regarding challenges to honey bee health around the world.


Leave a Comment October 24, 2012

Fungus fights deadly bee mites in a two-pronged attack

Editor’s Note:  The study discussed below, “Entomopathogenic fungi as potential biocontrol agents of the ecto-parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, and their effect on the immune response of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)” by Mollah Md. Hamiduzzaman, Alice Sinia, Ernesto Guzman-Novoa is available here.



A Varroa mite on a honey bee pupa. Credit: Gilles San Martin

(—A fungus normally used to control insect pests may help honey bees protect themselves from a destructive mite by both infecting the mites and preventing suppression of the bee immune system, says a team of bee researchers at the University of Guelph.

Leave a Comment October 23, 2012

Rising rates for rent-a-bees

From: Charlotte Observer


N.C. State study says higher shipping costs, invasive mites boost tab for crop pollination


By Reid Creager


Pollination is basic science, but the cost of it is getting more complicated.


Rising honey prices, invasive mites and higher diesel fuel costs have increased the price of services performed by commercial beekeepers during the past 20 years, says a new study from N.C. State University.


Leave a Comment October 22, 2012

North American Pollinator Protection Campaign International Conference

The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) held its 12th Annual International Conference at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from October 17-19.  The morning session on October 18 included keynote speeches by experts across the world.


As observed by the CRE, Dr. Anne Alix of the Dow AgroSciences, European Development Centre had some significant conclusions in her presentation based on her research.  In particular, Dr. Alix stated, “Honey bee decline, is widely recognized as a multifactored issue.”  “Pesticides are easy to identify as a factor,” because you only need to look where the pesticide is in the market.  Pathogens are much more difficult to determine their correlation to honey bee decline, but are just as much an issue.

Leave a Comment October 19, 2012

Fighting for the honeybee

From: This is Somerset (UK)


Beekeepers are  fighting for the honeybee after the worst summer for years.


Honeybees are facing a multitude of enemies but a practical course looking at ways to combat one of the most common is open to beekeepers from across the South West when Somerset Beekeepers’ Association’s (SBKA) hold their first Development Day at Cheddar on Saturday, November 24.


The day of lectures and workshops at the Kings of Wessex Academy will examine ways to tackle the blood-sucking varroa mite, which weakens colonies and is responsible for wiping out most of the country’s wild honeybee population.

Leave a Comment October 18, 2012

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