Archives – August, 2015

Bee researcher touts flower power

From: Capital Press

Don Jenkins

Washington State University researcher Tim Lawrence preaches flower power, not pesticide bans in helping honeybees.

COUPEVILLE, Wash. — Researcher Tim Lawrence has been all around Washington state testing bee hives for neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides banned by the European Commission for their purported harm to honeybees.


The Washington State University researchers expect to publish their findings soon in the Journal of Economic Entomology, adding to the body of knowledge on an emotional debate. So emotional, it’s hindering an effective response to honeybee losses, Lawrence said. “I think the whole neonicotinoid issue is a huge, unnecessary distraction when looking at what’s necessary for bees.”

Leave a Comment August 12, 2015

UC Davis Conference to Explore the Science Behind Neonicotinoids

From: Entomology & Nematology News

Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey

DAVIS–“Truth or Myth: Neonicotinoids and Their Impact on Pollinators: What Is the Science-Based Research?”

That’s the topic of a special conference–open to the public –set from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 9 at the UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane. UC Davis researchers and state officials will address the crowd, announced conference coordinator Dave Fujino, director of the UC Davis-based California Center for Urban Horticulture.

Leave a Comment August 10, 2015

Pesticide at centre of row ‘not a threat to bees’, claim farming chiefs

From: Shropshire Star

There is no evidence that a strong type of pesticide is causing a decline in bee populations, a Shropshire farming chief has claimed.

The Government has temporarily lifted a ban on neonicotinoid in certain parts of the country despite an EU-wide moratorium.

Studies have claimed the pesticide is harmful to bees, but NFU regional director for Shropshire Rob Newbery, said there is “no compelling evidence” that it is having an impact.

He said: “Damage caused to crops by cabbage stem flea beetle is a widespread problem on a national scale and neonicotinoid seed treatments are vital to provide protection from these pests.

Leave a Comment August 7, 2015

Bee researchers say the discovery of a sexually transmitted fungus could affect global breeding programs

From: Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Rural

By Bridget Fitzgerald

West Australian researchers say the discovery that a bee fungus can be transmitted through sex could have major consequences for worldwide bee breeding programs.

Scientists from the Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) at the University of Western Australia found that a fungus that causes dysentery in bees, known as Nosema apis, can be sexually transmitted from affected male worker bees to the queen.

Nosema apis can reduce productivity in honey bees because sick male bees are less likely to leave the hive to collect pollen than healthy bees.

Leave a Comment August 6, 2015

Burand tells state legislature that varroa mites are the top reason for bee colony collapse

From: University of Massachusetts/Amherst | College of Natural Sciences

John P. Burand, Microbiology, told a legislative hearing in Boston looking at the collapse of honeybee hives in the state that banning chemicals called neonicotinoids only addresses part of the problem. He said Varroa mites are the top cause of bee colony collapse. Boston Globe


Leave a Comment August 5, 2015

Agronomist posts tweet showing neonic effectiveness; then the fun really began

From: The Western Producer


So my initial reaction was to postpone judgment when Gregory Sekullic tweeted a picture of a canola field, where half the picture is of canola treated with neonicotinoids and the other half of the picture is of canola not treated with neonicotinoids.


I don’t know for certain whether neonicotinoids are as effective at combating flea beetle infestations as Sekullic’s picture suggests. However, I’m definitely leaning in that direction after seeing Sekullic’s tweet, as well as the reactions that producers and other agronomists had to it.

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Leave a Comment August 3, 2015

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