Archives – June, 2015

SOUTH AFRICA: Bees Endangered

Editor’s Note: Translated from the original French via Google Translate. The orginal article, AFRIQUE DU SUD : Les abeilles menacées de disparition, is available here


They were among the last to not see their population decrease. But the South African bees are found now housed in the same boat as their sisters from Europe or the United States. The reason: an epidemic of foulbrood, which could sign their disappearance.


Leave a Comment June 29, 2015

Mites, not pesticides, killing the bees?

From: Digital Journal

By Tim Sandle

A Mississippi State University Extension Service apiculture specialist has challenged the assumption that the indiscriminate use of pesticides is responsible for the decline in bee populations. This theory is mites.


According to apiculturist (that’s bee specialist) bee expert Jeff Harris, the issue that should be focused on is infection of hives by the Varroa mite.

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Leave a Comment June 26, 2015

Mississippi farmers, beekeepers and protecting bees


Source: Mississippi State University, Office of Agricultural Communications

Summary:Researchers are looking at the relationships between pesticides and row crops, farmers and beekeepers, and factors influencing honeybee health. This story focuses on the Mississippi Honey Bee Stewardship Program.

Pitting farmers against beekeepers does little to solve the problems facing pollinators.

“In some cases, anti-pesticide groups are using the challenges facing bee health as an opportunity to set up a very black-and-white, good guy versus bad guy scenario when it comes to agricultural production,” said Angus Catchot, an entomologist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “In the long run, this could hurt the average beekeeper in our area because that is the only story farmers are hearing in the media. It makes them wary of having beekeepers on their property or fearful of losing important crop production tools, such as neonicotinoid seed treatments.”

Leave a Comment June 25, 2015

Honey Bees’ African Ancestors May Hold Cure for Biting Mite Plague

From: LiveScience

Jessica Arriens, U.S. National Science Foundation

Jessica Arriens, a public affairs specialist for the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), contributed this article to Live Science’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

The honey bearers arrived in the early 17th century, carried into the United States by early European settlers. Apis mellifera, a name that truly translates as “bee honey-bearer” — though they are better known as honey bees.


Leave a Comment June 24, 2015

Bee colonies wiped out as new parasite spreads through New Zealand



Independent scientists have identified a new parasite in bees on the Coromandel peninsula, one of several regions around New Zealand that have reported the loss of thousands of colonies of honey bees since last spring and a substantial drop in honey harvests since.

Lotmaria passim, a parasite that attacks the gut of honey bees, was only discovered by a team of American researchers about six months ago.


“We’ve tested for pesticide exposure and we haven’t found any evidence of that,” Borowik said.

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Leave a Comment June 22, 2015

MSU Scientists Study Tie Between Insecticides and Bee Health

From: Mississippi State University, Office of Agricultural Communications


“Mid-South entomologists have conducted a lot of research on whether or not neonics are present in the nectar or pollen of our major row crops,” Catchot said. “Soybean is the crop bees prefer to forage on based on our surveys, and in soybean, we found zero occurrence of neonics in the flowers of the plant when the soybeans were planted with a neonic seed treatment.”

In cotton, they found no occurrence of neonics in the nectar and very low occurrence in the pollen.

Read Complete News Release

Leave a Comment June 19, 2015

Bee health complexity requires scientific solutions

From: Mississippi State University | Office of Agricultural Communications

By Keri Collins Lewis,  MSU Ag Communications

STARKVILLE, Miss. — A lifelong beekeeper and Mississippi State University Extension Service apiculture specialist offers an unusual list of reasons for bee colony death.

“My top three reasons for bee colony death are Varroa mites, Varroa mites and Varroa mites,” said bee expert Jeff Harris. “This is my sarcastic response to the heavy emphasis in the press on the effects of insecticides and other pesticides on honey bees.


Leave a Comment June 18, 2015

Protecting our bees – and a $4 billion industry

From: NAB Business Research and Insights (Australia)

Bees that pollinate crops (worth an estimated $4 billion) are under threat from a devastating pest, the Varroa mites.  It leaves them vulnerable to disease and weakens entire colonies and has invaded every beekeeping country except Australia.

“Our bees directly pollinate crops and some, such as apples, pears, cherries and almonds, would completely disappear without them,” says beekeeper Lindsay Bourke. “As Varroa is right on our doorstep I believe that biosecurity is more important in our industry than any other.”

Leave a Comment June 17, 2015

American Agri-Women president says science should outweigh emotion on pollinator health

From: Crop Protection News

by Katelyn Kivel

Sue McCrum, president of American Agri-Women, said there is more emotion than science in the realm of pollinator protection.

While McCrum was generally pleased with the recent White House report on pollinator health, she remains concerned about how it will be used going forward, especially in light of recent trends in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports and judgments.

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Leave a Comment June 15, 2015

Italian bees living it up on a tropical island

From: Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Rural

By Sally Dakis

A pure strain of Italian bees found on a tropical Pacific island could be the bee bank of the future.

The abandoned colony of bees was discovered on Niue Island 16 years ago and it is believed the colony has been on the island for 30 years.

New Zealand beekeeper Andrew Corey said the bees were free of major diseases including the destructive varroa mite, which has made its way to New Zealand.

Leave a Comment June 12, 2015

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