Archives – October, 2013

Bee project keeps students busy at South Columbus High School


By Deuce Niven

TABOR CITY – Bee colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon with worldwide implications for agriculture and food supplies, is getting attention in a schoolwide project at South Columbus High.

Two active hives are in place on campus, and there are plans for more, teachers Ronald Carteret and Jennifer Spivey said.

Every class has a role to play in researching the disorder, where worker bees seem to suddenly disappear from a hive.

“It’s a team effort,” Spivey said. “In our biology class, for instance, our kids will be trying to redesign the hive in a way to better keep out pests.”

Leave a Comment October 14, 2013

Mites might be the biggest threat to bee health

From: Farmers Weekly (U.K.)

Many scientists believe the varroa mite is more important than pesticides in hitting bee numbers, so one big agrichemical group is looking at ways to control the pest. David Jones reports.

Bayer is close to launching a product to improve bee health as the well-being of these pollinators has taken centre stage with a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides.

The two-year curb on some of these chemicals due to a possible link with bee health has left many oilseed rape growers in a quandary on how to control autumn pests.

Leave a Comment October 11, 2013

Australia prepares for varroa outbreak

From: Radio New Zealand

Australia is one of the few places in the world still free of the varroa mite but it’s gearing up for the day the devastating honey bee parasite hits its shores.

It has lifted a seven-year ban on bee imports as part of its efforts to prepare for any outbreak of the pest, which attacks bee colonies and is rampant in many of the world’s honey production areas, the ABC reports.

Federal Department of Agriculture spokesperson Andrew Cupit told the Country Hour programme resistant bees would be brought into Australia to help strengthen local colonies.

Leave a Comment October 9, 2013

Bee rules ‘unreasonable’

From: Weekly Times Now

Emma Field

THE first shipment of queen bees into Australia in seven years is due to arrive next week.

But the bee importer said the stringent conditions put on the shipment by the federal Department of Agriculture may discourage further imports.

And this would make Australia more vulnerable to the varroa mite, an external parasite that has devastated overseas bee populations but has yet to be found here.


Australian Queenbee Exporter owner Warren Taylor of Blayney in NSW is bringing in from Canada 10 queen bees that are tolerant to varroa mite. They will be held at the Eastern Creek quarantine facility.

Leave a Comment October 7, 2013

From: Smithsonian Magazine

Posted By:

New tests show that diesel pollutants reduce bees’ ability to smell flowers, potentially playing a role in Colony Collapse Disorder. Image via ColorfulFoxes

The importance of bees in our food system often goes unappreciated. Just by  going about their daily business, these insects are responsible for pollinating three-quarters of the 100 crop species that provide roughly 90 percent of the global food supply. The most recent estimate for the economic value of this bee activity is that it’s worth over $200 billion.

Leave a Comment October 4, 2013

Beekeepers fight disease by breeding ‘hygienic’ bees

From: Minnesota Public Radio

by Dan Gunderson

RICHVILLE, Minn. — For more than a century, Mark Sundberg’s family has had bee hives on the family farm.

In a good year, Sundberg Apiaries produces 800 barrels of honey, or about half a million pounds. But a bad year can cut its production in half — and recent years have largely been bad.

Honeybees are in trouble and their population is steadily declining — in part because of the increasing use of pesticides and a drop in the number of flowering plants. A growing problem is the prevalence of a pest called varroa mites, tiny parasites that attack bee larvae and adult bees in the hives.

Leave a Comment October 2, 2013

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