Archives – May, 2016

Mite Infestation #1 Cause of Loss of Honeybee Colonies, USDA Report Says

From: 92.1 WLHR Lake Hartwell Radio


A complete analysis of the survey data will be published later this year. The abstract for the analysis is at

More information about ARS honey bee health research and CCD can be found at

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Leave a Comment May 16, 2016

More buzz on bees: New USDA survey provides baseline information

From: Agweek

By Jonathan Knutson, Agweek

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The federal government and U.S. beekeepers now know a little more about the number of honeybee operations nationwide. The newly released, first-of-their-kind statistics, which help set a baseline, should be of more value later when new quarterly and annual numbers are available.

For now, what’s known is that the number of U.S. colonies, at operations with five or more colonies, totaled 2.59 million on Jan. 1, down 8 percent from 2.87 million a year earlier, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Leave a Comment May 13, 2016

Tough Winter for Honeybees, Mites and Amateur Beekeepers to Blame


By Callie Rainey

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A tough winter for honeybees. An annual survey released by the Bee Informed Partnership showed another tough winter for the honeybee’s with an average winter colony loss rate of 28 percent.

Universities, extension offices, research labs and bee health organizations come together to survey beekeepers.

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Leave a Comment May 12, 2016

3 Non-Pesticide Reasons Beekeepers Lost 44 Percent Of Bees In 2015-16

From: American Council on Science and Health

By Hank Campbell


He said much the same thing last May, and implicated parasites. “Our biggest surprise was the high level of varroa, especially in fall, and in well-managed colonies cared for by beekeepers who have taken steps to control the mites. We knew that varroa was a problem, but it seems to be an even bigger problem than we first thought. Moreover, varroa’s ability to spread viruses presents a more dire situation than we suspected.”

Indeed. They are, as he called them, dirty hypodermic needles that are a vector for viruses.

Leave a Comment May 11, 2016

Nation’s beekeepers lost 44 percent of bees in 2015-16

This chart presents ten years’ worth of results from an annual survey of honey bee colony loss conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership. Originally designed to only track winter losses, the survey began tracking summer (and therefore total annual) loss rates in the year spanning 2010-2011. Credit: Bee Informed Partnership/University of Maryland


The researchers note that many factors are contributing to colony losses. A clear culprit is the varroa mite, a lethal parasite that can easily spread between colonies. Pesticides and malnutrition caused by changing land use patterns are also likely taking a toll, especially among commercial beekeepers.

Leave a Comment May 10, 2016

The National Honey Bee Disease Survey: Varroa & Nosema in the US

From: Bee Informed

The National Honey Bee Disease Survey investigates honey bee apiaries throughout the US to see if three exotic honey bee pests are still absent from our shores. Samples collected from 41 states and two territories reveal that we are still free of the Tropilaelaps mite, Slow bee paralysis virus, and the Asian honey bee Apis cerana.  If you think varroa is tough to manage, its diminutive cousin Tropilaelaps can reproduce much faster, resulting in many more mites feeding on developing honey bee larvae.  We don’t want any of these three exotics as they would add additional stress and pressure to honey bee health.

Leave a Comment May 9, 2016

Beekeepers Can Be Hazardous To Bees

From: Science 2.0

Researchers at the University of Maryland and the U.S. Agriculture Department recently found that several parasites and the diseases they vector into honey bee colonies are the source of most of the bee health problems and supposed ‘die-offs’ observed in recent years[1].

Incidence of some relatively newly discovered honey bee viruses is skyrocketing while three exotic and destructive threats to honey bees have yet to make it to U.S. shores.

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Leave a Comment May 6, 2016

The drive for data

From: Greenhouse Management

AmericanHort’s Jill Calabro gives us the latest scoop on neonics and pollinators.

Matt McClellan

MM: A recent Washington State University (WSU) study measured honey bee colony exposure to four neonicotinoid insecticides (clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam) in urban, rural and agricultural settings. What did the researchers find?


[JC:] In rural or urban landscapes, they found less than 5 percent of beehives in a two-year period had any detectable residues at all. The authors of the study concluded there is no risk of adverse effect on beehives in rural and urban landscapes, and there was a very low risk in agricultural landscapes. The highest amount found was 3.9 parts per billion in an agricultural landscape. EPA considers 25 parts per billion the cutoff for potential for adverse effects.

Leave a Comment May 5, 2016

ARA comments on EPA’s imidacloprid registration review

From: AgProfessional

By Agricultural Retailers Association


ARA supports the use of risk-based assessments in understanding factors that may impact honey bee and native pollinator health. EPA needs to use widely accepted, peer-reviewed science and methodologies as it relates to any preliminary pollinator assessment for imidacloprid or other critical agricultural pesticide products.

The key to any short-term and long-term solution to improve pollinator health is through a diverse public-private partnership that brings together all impacted segments such as agribusinesses, farmers, commercial beekeepers, government agencies, conservation groups, manufacturers, and food processors. Read ARA’s comments to EPA

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Leave a Comment May 4, 2016

Rising CO2 levels threaten bees

From: Agri-News

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have reduced protein in goldenrod pollen, a key late-season food source for North American bees, a Purdue University study shows.

Researchers found that the overall protein concentration of goldenrod pollen fell about one-third from the onset of the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the 21st century.

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Leave a Comment May 3, 2016

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