Archives – July, 2016

Passive laboratory surveillance in Spain: pathogens as risk factors for honey bee colony collapse

From: Journal of Apicultural Research

Volume 54, Issue 5, 2015

Passive laboratory surveillance in Spain: pathogens as risk factors for honey bee colony collapse

Vigilancia epidemiológica pasiva en España: los patógenos como un factor de riesgo para el colapso de las colonias de abejas melíferas

Almudena Ceperoa, Raquel Martín-Hernándezab, Carolina Bartoloméc, Tamara Gómez-Morachoacd, Laura Barriose, José Bernalf, María Teresa Martínf, Aránzazu Meanag & Mariano Higesa*

Leave a Comment July 15, 2016

USDA Develops Database for Bumble Bees

From: Pest Control Technology

The USBombus database, a USDA-ARS project, arose out of concern over the national decline of four Bombus species.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Look up the word “bumble,” and the definition may read something like “To move or act in a confused, awkward or clumsy manner.” But the bumble bee, a member of the genus Bombus, is anything but clumsy. In fact, the insects are expert aviators, alighting with precision inside flowers and vigorously shaking pollen loose from their stamens.
Some bumble bee species are pollinating professionals on par with honey bees. At the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research Unit in Logan, Utah, scientists are conducting multi-faceted studies on Bombus species of all shapes, sizes and colors to ensure their wellbeing and usefulness to agriculture—especially in pollinating greenhouse-grown plants, primarily tomatoes.

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Leave a Comment July 14, 2016

Queensland beekeepers seek answers on biosecurity response to varroa mite incursion in Townsville [Australia]

From: ABC | Rural

By Charlie McKillop

Queensland’s beekeepers have been reassured a biosecurity breach by deadly varroa mites in the port of Townsville can be contained.

No further detections have been made since an Asian honeybee hive containing two mites was discovered last week, prompting Biosecurity Queensland to declare the latest outbreak can be eradicated.

The varroa mite is considered the greatest challenge facing world beekeeping, with Australia so far the only continent not to be infested with the deadly parasite.

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Leave a Comment July 13, 2016

France aims to cripple its farmers by 2018

Editor’s Note: It’s varroa destructor and the pathogens it spreads, such as Deformed Wing Virus are the primary culprit behind bee health decline, see here. As for neonics, just this week the New Zealand EPA approved a new neonicotinoid-treated seed explaining “the risks to bees from the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin were well below the level of concern.” See here. As for neonicotinoid bans, they’ve hurt farmers while failing to protect bees, see here.

From: AgraEurope

France aims to ban use of neonicotinoids by 2018

By Sanjiv Rana

Leave a Comment July 12, 2016

Combined seed treatment helps protect NZ crops

From: Scoop Sci-Tech

Combined seed treatment helps protect NZ crops

A new version of an insecticide used to help protect corn, wheat grass and brassica crops has been approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).


What is the risk to bees from this neonicotinoid?
The EPA risk assessment indicated that the risks to bees from the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin were well below the level of concern.

Leave a Comment July 11, 2016

Varroa mite discovery in Townsville could put the bite on northern queen bee breeders [Australia]

From: ABC News | Rural

By Charlie McKillop

Movement restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the devastating varroa mite could prevent queen bee production by one of Queensland’s largest breeders.

North Queensland apiarist Graham Armstrong sends queen bees to hives across Australia at times when they are not readily available elsewhere.

Mr Armstrong said there was a real possibility the ‘precautionary’ 10-kilometre control zone could be extended and, if that were to be the case, it would have far-reaching implications for the industry.

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Leave a Comment July 8, 2016

Varroa mites, chemicals and lack of nutrition cause bee decline, USDA says

From: Crop Protection News

by Crop Protection News Reports


Jay Evans, who runs the USDA’s bee lab in Beltsville, Maryland, has been looking into the causes behind the massive decline in bees in recent years. He said in a radio interview that the leading cause of honeybee deaths can be attributed to parasites, poor nutrition and the chemicals bees are exposed to.

“There are three major stresses on bees: one is biological – different parasites and pathogens, including the varroa mites, and these have been harder and harder to control,” Evans said. “And we know they are transmitting viruses. They’re actually having a huge impact on bees.”

Leave a Comment July 7, 2016

Varroa Found in Australia

From: ABC News (Australia)

By Matt Watson

Photo: Varroa mites have been discovered at the Townsville Port. (Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry)

The destructive varroa mite has been found in a nest of Asian honey bees in the Port of Townsville, in far north Queensland.

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) said the single hive was found last week within the hollow metal support of a container stand.

The hive of about 5,000 bees along with two varroa mites, which were detected on two of the bees, were destroyed by staff from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Leave a Comment July 6, 2016

EPA Seeks To Dismiss Beekeepers’ Lawsuit Challenging Neonicotinoids

Editor’s Note: A compendium of evidence demonstrating that varroa destructor and its pathogens are the #1 threat to honeybees may be found here

From: Inside EPA

EPA and pesticide industry intervenors are urging a federal court to end a lawsuit seeking to suspend agency registration of products containing two controversial neonicotinoid pesticides, arguing that advocates have failed to establish standing for some claims, and that the agency’s decision not to cancel the products was backed by evidence.

Read Complete Article [paywall]

Leave a Comment July 5, 2016

British Agriculture Hangs in the Balance of the Brexit

From: Stratfor


On the other hand, a Brexit would afford Britain more autonomy over its agricultural practices. The European Union has strict regulations on the use of herbicides, pesticides and genetic modification in agriculture, issues currently voted on by member states and administered by the European Commission and European Food Safety Authority. Until June 28, when the bloc granted an 18-month extension, it appeared that EU officials would let Monsanto’s license for glyphosate, an herbicide and crop desiccant, expire on June 30. But these policies have cost the United Kingdom’s agriculture sector; in 2015, for instance, restrictions on neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides, adversely affected British rapeseed crops. Compared with many of its peers on the Continent, the United Kingdom is more amenable to these processes, and separating from the European Union would certainly open up the market for products treated with them. Even so, since the United Kingdom will likely strive to maintain a close trade relationship with the rest of the Continent, it may not benefit much from its liberalized agricultural policies.

Leave a Comment July 1, 2016

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