Archives – October, 2015

Varroa/Bee Health Decline Research Papers from the Open Archive HAL

Editor’s Note: Below are the Abstracts and links to the complete text of two 2010 research papers on varroa from the French-based open archive of scholarly articles, HAL.

Varroa mites and honey bee health: can Varroa explain part of the colony losses?

Yves LeConte, Marion Ellis, Wolfgang Ritter

Abstract– Since 2006, disastrous colony losses have been reported in Europe and North America. The causes of the losses were not readily apparent and have been attributed to overwintering mortalities and to a new phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder. Most scientists agree that there is no single explanation for the extensive colony losses but that interactions between different stresses are involved. As the presence of Varroa in each colony places an important pressure on bee health, we here address the question of how Varroa contributes to the recent surge in honey bee colony losses.

Leave a Comment October 15, 2015

Africa can solve the global honey-bee crisis


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Leave a Comment October 14, 2015

These ‘zombie’ bees make the flight of the living dead

From: Washington Post

The bees in the above video aren’t dead, but they’re about as zombified as bees could be. They’re suffering from just one of the many ailments putting honey bee colonies under pressure: a devastating parasite.

When the parasitic fly Apocephalus borealis crosses paths with certain species of bee — increasingly, the european honey bee — it aggressively pursues the bees and lays its eggs inside them. You probably don’t need me to tell you that having another species grow and hatch inside you is no good. As the larvae grow, they feed off of the muscle and nervous system of their host bee, eventually destroying the brain. After a few weeks, they bust their way out of the bee’s body by making a split between the head and the thorax.

Leave a Comment October 12, 2015

Could A Mushroom Save The Honeybee?

From: NPR

Ken Christensen


Varroa mites have devastated U.S. beehives since the late 1980s, when they arrived here from Asia. In 1996, half of the colonies east of the Mississippi River died due to mite infestations.


Stamets and Sheppard are feeding liquid extracts of those forest mushrooms to mite-infected honeybees. Initial findings suggest that five species of the wood-rotting fungi can reduce the honeybees’ viruses and increase their lifespans.

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Leave a Comment October 9, 2015

EPA Registers New Biochemical Miticide To Combat Varroa Mites In Beehives

From: Growing Produce

Posted By:

EPA has registered a new biochemical miticide, Potassium Salts of Hops Beta Acids (K-HBAs), which is intended to provide another option for beekeepers to combat the devastating effects of the Varroa mite on honey bee colonies.

The product is also expected to avoid the development of resistance toward other products. Rotating products to combat Varroa mites is an important tactic to prevent resistance development and to maintain the usefulness of individual pesticides.

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Leave a Comment October 9, 2015

Neonicotinoids and Bees: Separating Fact From Fiction

From: EuropeanSeed

The seed industry speaks out on the ban of neonicotinoids seed treatments as the full impact of the ban is felt on EU crop production.


Leave a Comment October 7, 2015

Penn State Entomology Seminar: Unravelling the impact of the mite Varroa destructor

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a discussion of Dr Ryabov’s research. The complete discussion is available here.

Introduction of the parasitic mite Varroa to the UK around 20 years ago had a major impact on honeybee health and beekeeping practice. Without regular control, Varroa levels rise significantly causing a decline in colony fitness and excessive winter losses. While feeding on honeybee ‘blood’ Varroa transmits viruses between bees. Previous studies by this team have shown that two of these viruses, Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) and Varroa Destructor Virus-1 (VDV-1), can combine to form a new sort of hybrid virus that current diagnostic methods cannot correctly identify.

From: Penn State College of Agricultural Science | Entomology

Leave a Comment October 5, 2015

GFB submits comments on EPA’s proposed pesticide rule

From: Georgia Farm Bureau

Georgia Farm Bureau recently submitted comments to the EPA regarding the agency’s “Proposal to Mitigate the Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products.”

On May 29 the EPA published a proposed rule that would prohibit foliar application of pesticides that are acutely toxic to bees on fields where bee colonies are under contract for pollination services. The proposed rule included a list of 76 pesticides that would be subject to additional label restrictions.

In an Aug. 26 letter, GFB President Zippy Duvall urged the EPA to re-evaluate the proposed rule that “limits the relationship between beekeepers and producers while doing little to prevent pollinator decline.”

Leave a Comment October 2, 2015

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