Archives – January, 2015

Washington State Dept of Agriculture Bee Report Highlights Varroa

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) convened a Honey Bee Work Group. The Group’s report, A REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE FROM THE HONEY BEE WORK GROUP, attached here, highlights the threat posed by the varroa parasite. The report explains,

The issues are connected: forage provides nutrition needed to resist disease; parasites such as the Varroa mite spread viruses and other pathogens; and a limited gene pool limits the honey bees’ ability to resist/overcome disease and environmental stressors such as pesticides. A limited gene pool also reduces bee breeders’ options as they attempt to improve bee stocks. Control of Varroa mites and genetic diversity are largely issues for beekeepers and researchers to address. Forage and pesticide issues, however, revolve around land ownership, land use, and land management; and addressing them requires the cooperation of many entities.

Leave a Comment January 7, 2015

The dose makes the poison: have “field realistic” rates of exposure of bees to neonicotinoid insecticides been overestimated in laboratory studies?

Editor’s Note: The complete International Bee Research Association study is attached here.

From: Journal of Apicultural Research 53(5): 607-614 (2014) © IBRA

Norman L Carreck and Francis L W Ratnieks


Recent laboratory based studies have demonstrated adverse sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bees and bumble bees, and these studies have been influential in leading to a European Union moratorium on the use of three neonicotinoids, clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam on “bee attractive” crops. Yet so far, these same effects have not been observed in field studies. Here we review the three key dosage factors (concentration, duration and choice) relevant to field conditions, and conclude that these have probably been over estimated in many laboratory based studies.

Leave a Comment January 5, 2015

Breeding healthier honeybees

From: Cawthron Institute

A new research project is underway to breed honeybees tolerant to the devastating varroa mite.

Scientists at Cawthron Aquaculture Park are applying their world-leading expertise in selective breeding and cryopreservation for the aquaculture sector, to breeding honeybees tolerant to the varroa mite pest.

The project is a collaboration between Rainbow Honey, Business Development Company and Cawthron (all Nelson, New Zealand, based).

“We are working with nature to give bees a helping hand to build up varroa tolerance,” says Rainbow Honey Managing Director, Philip Cropp.

Leave a Comment January 2, 2015

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