Archives – April, 2014

EU Admits: Neonics Not Main Threat to Bee Health

Editor’s Note: Under American regulatory policy formalized in President Obama’s Executive Order on regulatory review, regulators adopt a regulation only after “a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs,” not simply because they can.  The EU’s pollinator protection policy is now openly ignoring the leading role in bee health decline of varroa destructor.

From: Food Chemical News

Leave a Comment April 30, 2014

Ag Retailers: Educating Farmers to Benefit Bees

Editor’s Note:  Agricultural retailers educate farmers on proper use of agricultural chemcials to protect crops and the environment. Bees need farmers to receive science-based education and advice as illustrated below in a poorly-informed letter from the National Farmers Union of Canada which called for a “5-year moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments on corn and soybeans in Ontario and Quebec” even though neonic bans are associated with the loss of bee colonies. By contrast, a former associate dean for research and innovation in the Ontario Agricultural College at University of Guelph explained:

Leave a Comment April 28, 2014

Varroa fight at critical stage

From: Stock Journal


THE ongoing protection of Australia’s honeybee population from a deadly overseas parasite that has decimated hives worldwide is at “situation critical”, according to Independent Senator for SA Nick Xenophon.

Since 2004, the Varroa mite has been infecting hives just 150 kilometres north of Qld in Papua New Guinea.

Australia remains the only honey-producing country in the world that has not yet been infected by Varroa.

CSIRO research says the pest – which is hosted by another unwanted parasite, the Asian honeybee – kills 95 per cent to 100pc of unmanaged hives in Europe and the United States within three to four years of infestation.

Leave a Comment April 25, 2014

Bee-Minded Pesticide Protest Loses Some Sting

Editor’s Note: CRE notes the partial victory of administrative process and sound science in US District Court.

From: Courthouse News Service


SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Beekeepers and environmentalists missed some administrative hoops before challenging honeybee-killing pesticides, a federal judge ruled.

Four beekeepers joined with nonprofits including the Sierra Club, Center for Food Safety and Center for Environmental Health in suing the Environmental Protection Agency last year over its approval of pesticides containing clothianidin and thiamethoxam.


The EPA – joined by Bayer, Syngenta and other pesticide makers – moved to dismiss the action under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, or FIFRA.

Leave a Comment April 23, 2014

Honeybees in East Africa Resist Deadly Pathogens

From: National Geographic

Bees in Kenya stay healthy despite parasites and viruses that collapse U.S. and European hives.

Jennifer S. Holland

A surprising finding about East African honeybees lends new hope to the fight against colony collapses in the West. Scientists have discovered that bees in Kenya have strong resistance to the same pathogens responsible for the deaths of billions of bees elsewhere in the world. (See “Gold Dusters” in National Geographic magazine.)

Leave a Comment April 21, 2014

Science, threats to bees and colony collapse disorder


Paul Driessen

Almonds need honeybees for pollination, but bees that do the work face multiple threats. Properly identifying and addressing the risks is vital for commercial beekeepers, growers who operate this $4 billion-a-year California industry, and all who savor honey and almonds.

Beehives have been hit hard in recent years by many problems, including colony collapse disorder, which occurs when bees in a colony disappear, leaving behind only a queen and a few workers. Last year, U.S. beekeepers experienced an average 30 percent overwinter bee loss.

Leave a Comment April 18, 2014

Bayer CropScience opens Bee Care Center in RTP

From: The Herald-Sun

Laura Oleniacz

DURHAM — Honeybees are in trouble.

Each year, the United States loses about a third of its honeybee population, said David R. Tarpy, an associate professor and extension beekeeper at N.C. State University.

And while beekeepers have been building the numbers back up, he said, it’s difficult for them to keep up at that pace of loss.

“The overall problem is that colonies are dying off at a greater rate than what is sustainable, and because we need them for pollinators, we need a sustainable honeybee population,” he said.

Leave a Comment April 16, 2014

Bee threats to be outlined

From: SBS

Fears of a mite infestation that could devastate Australia’s bee population are among the concerns to be raised at a senate hearing. 

Source:  AAP

Bee business and a potential billion dollar threat to agriculture is on the agenda of a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

At a town hall in Murray Bridge, west of Adelaide, senators will start to hear evidence from those in the bee and honey industry, including their fears of an infestation of the disease-spreading Varroa mite.

Ten submissions have been received, with some indicating a mite infestation is most likely to reach Australia via established bee hives carried on international shipping.

Leave a Comment April 14, 2014

Bee death rates lower than feared

Editor’s Note: For more information about the Epilobee study, see the Review of Bee Health Decline here.

From: RTE News

A pioneering European Union survey into the impact of pests and diseases on honey bees has found that death rates were lower than feared.

The study in part counters concerns about the collapse of colonies of the crop-pollinating insects.

The study of 32,000 bee colonies across 17 EU member states from late 2012 until summer 2013 found winter mortality rates ranged from 3.5% percent to 33.6%.

The winter of 2012-13 was particularly cold and the highest mortality rates were in northern countries with harsher climates.

Leave a Comment April 11, 2014

European Union Reference Laboratory for honeybee health: Impact of Varroa To Be Determined

Editor’s Note: A major European Union study of honeybee health has collected detailed data on the impact of Varroa Destructor on EU bees.  Processing and analysis of the dataset is described by the Europan Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) as a “massive effort.” The EU report makes clear that an assessment of “parasitic pressures” on bees from the data is neccessary before causality of bee health decline can be determined.

The complete Epilobee report, “A pan-European epidemiological study on honeybee colony losses: 2012-2013” is attached here. Below is an excerpt from p. 22.

Leave a Comment April 9, 2014

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