Archives – January, 2016

New ARS Bee Genebank Will Preserve Genetic Diversity and Provide Breeding Resources

From: USDA | Agricultural Research Service

By Kim Kaplan

January 26, 2016

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is organizing a national bee genebank as part of the agency’s response to ongoing problems facing the country’s beekeepers. Average losses of managed honey bee colonies have increased to more than 30 percent per year due to pathogens, pests, parasites, and other pressures including deficient nutrition and sublethal impacts of pesticides. These stresses have threatened the continued business sustainability of commercial beekeepers.

Leave a Comment January 29, 2016

What does ‘science based’ mean?

From: Manitoba Co-operator

Industry and government must adjust to new findings, but policies should not 
be based on the latest Internet trend



Early in January, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), together with the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S., released research showing no potential risk to bees as a result of on-label use of these seed treatments. Further, PMRA scientists demonstrated that the treatments generated significant advantages for farmers. The right response to this new evidence would be for the Government of Ontario to reverse course and repeal the regulatory restrictions.

Leave a Comment January 28, 2016

Evaluation of certain neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments against cereal aphids on some wheat cultivars

From: Journal of Phytopathology and Pest Management

A. A. Abd-Ella

Leave a Comment January 27, 2016

Pollinator Health Action Plan survey [Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change]

Editor’s Note: Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency determined that neonicotinoid seed treatments pose ““No potential risk to bees. . . .” It is varroa destructor, not neonics, that is threatening honeybee health, see here.

From: Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

Share your thoughts and recommendations on our Pollinator Health Action Plan and help us improve pollinator health in the province.

Your feedback will be considered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs when we report back to the public with a final Action Plan in spring/summer 2016.

Approximate completion time: 15 minutes

Leave a Comment January 26, 2016

Scientists determine how to control parasite without harming bees

From: Science Daily

Source: Taylor & Francis

Summary: The parasitic mite Varroa destructor (varroa) is generally agreed to be the greatest threat facing honey bees worldwide. Despite much research, losses continue due to lack of effective control measures, because the mite has become resistant to several commonly used chemicals. The natural product oxalic acid has been widely used in mainland Europe but surprisingly little previous research has directly compared different methods of application, their efficacies, and their adverse effects on bees.

Leave a Comment January 25, 2016

Are we obsessed with Varroa mites?

From: HoneyBeeSuite | A Better Way to Bee


Finding the true culprit

The point of my previous post was that collapse by Varroa is often mistaken for absconding. ButVarroa mites—or more accurately, the diseases they carry—are responsible for a wide array of maladies that are often mistaken for something else. When we don’t see physical evidence of mites—that is, when they are not parading across the bottom board with flags and banners—we tend to blame the something else, whether that something else be absconding, queen failure, starvation, cold, moisture, Nosema, or yellowjackets.

Leave a Comment January 21, 2016

Clint Jasper reports on a new study revealing the pathogen-fighting properties of honeybee semen.

Editor’s Note: The complete paper, “Seminal fluid of honeybees contains multiple mechanisms to combat infections of the sexually transmitted pathogen Nosema apis” is available here.

From: ABC | Rural

UWA’s Centre for Integrated Bee Research director Dr Boris Baer says honeybee seminal fluid is highly efficient at killing the spores of a common fungal pathogen, Nosema apis.

Leave a Comment January 20, 2016

PMRA takes neonics testing from lab to field

From: The Western Producer

Health Canada looked at multiple field studies to assess imidacloprid residues found on crops grown in Canada. It identified the highest residue measurements from all studies to determine a conservative estimate of bee exposure. These are the highest recorded residues, or acute values: Canola: Pollen: 7.6 parts per billion Nectar: 0.81 p.p.b. Corn pollen: 19.46 p.p.b.



In a report released in early January, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency said seeds treated with imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, pose no risk to bees.

Leave a Comment January 19, 2016

Absconding bees or death by Varroa?


Rusty, HoneyBeeSuite

This past fall, I received many reports and questions about absconding bees, perhaps fifty in all. Every year I get these and I must admit that I’ve always taken the beekeepers’ word for it when they said their bees absconded.

But this year I realized the sheer number of reports was off-kilter somehow. Yes, honey bees abscond on occasion, but it is rare, and it is usually the result of untenable conditions in the hive.

Absconding due to thymol

Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment January 18, 2016

UA bee expert raps EPA data

From: Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Pesticide called best option

The Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that a popular pesticide is harmful to honeybees when used on cotton ignores good science, a University of Arkansas entomologist said Friday.

“This flies right in the face of the research we’ve been doing in the mid-South,” said Gus Lorenz, distinguished professor and associate head of entomology for the UA System’s Division of Agriculture.

Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment January 15, 2016

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