Archives – May, 2015

EPA Commits to Revising its Analysis of the Economic Benefits from Neonicotinoid-Treated Soybean Seeds

In prepared testimony before the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention stated,

We are currently in the process of reviewing the over 40,000 comments we received on our analysis. The revised analysis will be incorporated into the risk/benefit determination that we will make for these products as part of the ongoing registration review of the neonicotinoids. Additional benefits analyses for the neonicotinoid pesticides may be conducted, as needed, as part of this ongoing re-evaluation.

Leave a Comment May 13, 2015

Asian honey bee swarm carrying varroa mite destroyed after discovery in Brisbane shipment

From: ABC News (Australia)

By Matt Watson and Marty McCarthy

A swarm of Asian honey bees carrying the destructive varroa mite has been destroyed by quarantine officials in Brisbane after a nest was discovered in a shipment of cables from Malaysia.

“Arrangements were made to have the container unpacked to retrieve the dead bees and comb (honeycomb) to check for mites,” a spokesman for the federal Agriculture Department said.

“Seven mites were found in the comb and identified as varroa jacobsoni.”


Leave a Comment May 13, 2015

Hearing on pollinator health comes as EPA, USDA spar

From: E&E Publishing

Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter


In the letter, Johansson states that USDA staff had specifically asked EPA to undertake a full risk assessment that would have weighed the benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments for all crops, not just soybeans.

“Instead, EPA released the report regarding soybean seed treatment without additional consideration of other crops or to USDA cautions about releasing a premature assessment of the costs and benefits of such seed treatments,” he wrote.

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Leave a Comment May 11, 2015

CBP Agriculture Specialists Intercept Cache of Undeclared Queen and Worker Honey Bees at Laredo Port of Entry

From: US Customs and Border Protection

LAREDO, Texas – Alert U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at Laredo Port of entry stung an ill-fated and unusual smuggling attempt as they seized a cache of undeclared live queen and worker honey bees from a group of travelers in a pickup truck.

“This interception of multiple colonies of live honey bees is an unusual discovery, something not seen in recent memory and reflects the commitment of our well-trained agriculture specialists to uphold CBP’s agriculture mission and prevent the import of foreign insects without appropriate permits,” said Port Director Joseph Misenhelter, Laredo Port of Entry.

Leave a Comment May 8, 2015

Grain Farmers accuse province of steamrolling neonics regulations

From: Guelph Mercury

By Rob O’Flanagan

GUELPH — A farming advocacy group is buzzing mad over the public comment process into restricting neonicotinoid insecticides in the province. But beekeepers say the Grain Farmers of Ontario had plenty of opportunity to register its complaints about Ontario’s plan to reduce the use of neonicotinoids by 80 per cent within two years.

Barry Senft, the organization’s chief executive said Tuesday the province is rushing to conclude the public comment period into proposed new regulations that will severely restrict the use of neonicotinoids and potential hurt grain farmers.


Leave a Comment May 6, 2015

MSU virologist receives grants for research on honeybee health

From: Montana State University

Jenny Lavey, MSU News Service

A Montana State University virologist recently was awarded three grants to study why honeybees, the primary pollinator force of the nation’s food supply, are experiencing high losses.

Michelle Flenniken, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology in MSU’s College of Agriculture, recently received three grants to investigate the role of viruses and other pathogens on honeybee health.

Leave a Comment May 5, 2015

New research provides clues about honey bee decline


by Sofiya Cabalquinto

A new study by Heather Mattila, a leading honey bee ecologist and Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College, published this April in PLOS ONE, reveals that inadequate access to pollen during larval development has lifelong consequences for honey bees, leading not only to smaller workers and shorter lifespans, but also to impaired performance and productivity later in life. For the first time, this study demonstrates a crucial link between poor nutrition at a young age, and foraging and waggle dancing, the two most important activities that honey bees perform as providers for their colonies and as pollinators of human crops. The study was co-authored by Hailey Scofield, Wellesley Class of 2013, a former undergraduate research assistant who will begin a Ph. D program (in Neurobiology and Behavior) at Cornell University in Fall 2015.

Leave a Comment May 4, 2015

USDA: Louisiana’s bees are on the rebound

From: New Orleans City Business

By: The Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA  — There are some good signs indicating that Louisiana’s bee population is rebounding, according to federal bee experts.

The Daily Town Talk reports that a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report on honey shows production is up.

The USDA reports production is up 19 percent year over year — a good sign after lengthy periods of decline in honeybee colonies. The number of managed colonies has been slashed in half since a peak in the 1940s, according to the USDA, due to predatory pests and diseases that have ravaged the non-native insects.

Leave a Comment May 1, 2015

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