Archives – May, 2015

Honeybee Decline: Tiny Parasites May be to Blame by Infecting Larvae

Editor’s Note: The complete study “Nosema ceranae Can Infect Honey Bee Larvae and Reduces Subsequent Adult Longevity,” by Daren M. Eiri, Guntima Suwannapong, Matthew Endler, and James C. Nieh is available here (pdf).

From: Nature World News

By Jenna Iacurci

Honeybee decline worldwide continues to baffle scientists, and while invasive parasites have been blamed before, new research shows that a tiny single-celled parasite may have a greater-than expected impact on colonies by infecting larvae.

In the journal PLOS ONE, scientists report that a microsporidian called Nosema ceranae, which has been known to infect adult Asiatic and European honeybees, can also infect honeybee larvae. They also discovered that honeybee larvae infected with the microsporidian have reduced lifespans as adults.

Leave a Comment May 29, 2015

The Economic Benefits of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatement: A Federal Research Plan

Editor’s Note: The following is from USDA’s May 21, 2015 “Colony Collapse Disorder and Honey Bee Health Action Plan.” The complete Action Plan is available here. USDA’s blog post, “Buzzing into Action to Support Pollinator Health through Research” is available here.

Goal: Implement new tools that will improve EPA’s ability to understand and/or measure the impacts of changes in bee health on beekeepers.

Priority: High

Duration: Short-term

Federal agencies: EPA, ERS


Leave a Comment May 27, 2015

Honey Bees in fight vs. the mites

From: Fox CT



“A huge problem is this mite, it’s a parasitic mite on honey bees and it transmits viruses,” said Dr. Kimberly Stoner, an associate scientist in the entomology department at the Connecticut Agricultural  Station.

Stoner noted that 22 different viruses have been discovered in the bees.

Read Complete Article


Leave a Comment May 27, 2015

Agricultural Retailers Association praises White House’s pollinator strategy

From: Crop Protection News

by Daniel Daw

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) praised the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators after President Obama’s Pollinator Health Task Force released it on Thursday.

The accompanying Pollinator Research Action Plan does not indicate a single cause or factor in reported bee-population declines, but indicates a correlation between the parasitic Varroa mite and sharp declines in bee colony populations. It also indicated limited access to sufficient forage areas and nutrition as a pollinator health factor.

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Leave a Comment May 26, 2015

Pesticides and bees: call for data

Editor’s Note: The formal EFSA call for new scientific information is available here. Comments are due by Sepetember 30, 2015.

From: European Food Safety Authority

EFSA is asking national authorities, research institutions, industry and other interested parties to submit new information relevant to the evaluation of the risks posed to bees by three neonicotinoid pesticides applied as seed treatments and granules.

The call for data complies with the decision taken by the European Commission in May 2013 to put in place measures to restrict the use of clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid. For example, their use as a seed or soil treatment and for pre-flowering applications was prohibited on crops attractive to bees and for cereals other than winter cereals.

Leave a Comment May 22, 2015

Thrilling Time-Lapse of Developing Bees Shows a Cause of Colony Collapse

From: takepart

Photographer Anand Varma kept a hive in his backyard to capture what’s affecting the growth of the pollinators.

Staff Writer Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.


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There’s no explanation on the video, but as Varma explains in the video below of a TED Talk he gave in March in Vancouver, British Columbia, the mites suck the blood from the vulnerable, growing bees, contributing to colony collapse disorder. “This eventually destroys a hive because it weakens the immune system of the bees, and it makes them more vulnerable to stress and disease,” says Varma.

Leave a Comment May 22, 2015

Ag groups respond favorably to National Pollinator Strategy

From: AgProfessional

By Colleen Scherer, managing editor


Agricultural Retailers Association

The Agricultural Retailers Association applauded the announcement of the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators and the companion Pollinator Research Action Plan, released Tuesday by President Barack Obama’s Pollinator Health Task Force.

“ARA and our members understand the importance of pollinators in growing crops and sustaining plant life,” said Richard Gupton, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for ARA. “We applaud President Obama and members of the Pollinator Health Task Force for also recognizing that pesticides play a critical part in agricultural production and the health of our society.”

Leave a Comment May 21, 2015

Pollinator Protection: USDA Recognizes the Importance of Pest Management Tools, EPA Commits to Using Best Available Science

Editor’s Note: In Appendix A of the Administration’s National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, EPA commits to usng the “Best Available Science to Support Protective Decisions. EPA states,

Metrics: EPA will track the number of pesticides for which the acute and chronic laboratory-based studies of honey bee adults and larvae are submitted in support of the registration and registration review programs. EPA’s goal is to ensure that such enhanced science-based information is available to support key regulatory outcomes in its registration review and registration programs for new and existing chemicals. Also, for those chemicals for which risk managers need additional refinements, the number of colony-level studies at either the semi-field or full-field scale serve as a measure of the Agency’s ability to refine estimates of potential risk to colonies as a whole and to develop more effective label language to mitigate potential risks.

Leave a Comment May 19, 2015

The Plight Of The Honey Bee: Fact And Fiction

From: Forbes

A. Gary Shilling


What’s been the trouble with honey bees? All beekeepers obviously want to know, and they range from huge commercial beekeepers with 10,000 to 40,000 hives that they move vast distances to pollinate crops, to overgrown hobbyists like me with 100 colonies to backyard beekeepers with several hives. We all waited with bated breath for a report issued last year by a committee of leading etymologists from the U.S.D.A. and universities with major bee research such as Cornell, University of Maryland, Penn State and University of California-Davis.


Leave a Comment May 18, 2015

Bee Death Increase Seen in U.S. Survey Citing Mites, Viruses

From: The Washington Post/Bloomberg


A malady called Colony Collapse Disorder, which was identified nearly a decade ago and coincided with a doubling of honeybee death rates, has waned while traditional mites and viruses seem resurgent, the survey shows.


A rise in varroa mite, a longtime scourge of beehives, played a leading role in higher losses from smaller beekeepers, the survey found.

Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment May 15, 2015

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