Archives – December, 2016

Research buzz: Professor, students identify bacterium that may kill honey bees

From: University of Wisconsin-Stout 

A University of Wisconsin-Stout biology professor and his students may have made an important discovery in the effort to determine why honey bee hives are dying out during the winters in the Upper Midwest.

Biology Professor Jim Burritt and his students have published research about a new strain of the bacterium called Serratia marcescens strain sicaria. With evidence of its killing power, they chose the name sicaria, which means assassin, and Ss1 for short.

Leave a Comment December 30, 2016

Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s proposed neonic ban called political

From: The Western Producer



“I’m not in agreement with the decision to ban (imidacloprid)…. I don’t agree that the weight of evidence suggests that that particular action is needed,” said Paul Sibley, a U of G professor in environmental sciences.

“I do think some action is needed, but I think that (a ban) is essentially a politicized response, much as we saw in Europe when they banned (neonicotinoids) because of a pollination concerns.”

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Leave a Comment December 29, 2016

China’s honey bee losses are low compared with West

Editor’s Note: See,”Survey results of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony losses in China (2010–2013)” by , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , & is available here. [Paywall]

From: Science Daily

Source: Taylor & Francis

Summary: Since concern about widespread honey bee colony losses began ten years ago, there have been surveys carried out to assess winter losses in North America and many European countries. So far, the picture in China, the largest beekeeping country in the world, has been unclear. Now for the first time, information about winter losses from a large-scale survey carried out from 2010-13 has been published.

Leave a Comment December 28, 2016

‘Twas the mite before Christmas

From: Queensland Government

Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, The Honourable Anthony Lynham

Townsville residents are being urged to remain on the lookout for any signs of unusual bee activity over the Christmas holiday period.

Acting Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Anthony Lynham said the National Varroa Mite Eradication Program was still very active in its search for any more Asian honey bees in the Townsville area.


Varroa mites have the potential to significantly damage the Australian agricultural sector and the bee industry, disrupting honey production and pollination services.

Leave a Comment December 27, 2016

Asian bees carrying varroa mostly destroyed

From: The Weekly Times



This comes after an incursion of varroa mite — the world’s worst honey bee pest — was discovered in an Asian honey bee hive in Townsville in July.


The Department of Agriculture said 65 per cent of Australian agricultural crops relied on honey bee pollination and estimated it could cost crop industries about $70 million a year if the varroa mite became established in Australia.

Bee trap: Biosecurity officer Rob Stephens with one of the balloon traps hoped to catch Asian honey bees. Picture: Domanii Cameron

Leave a Comment December 23, 2016

“British government scientists see little justification for the continued banning of neonicotinoids. . . .”

From: Cambridge Network

Where do we go from here?

The Scientific Alliance offers some thoughts on what 2017 may bring…

Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance


Also in the agricultural area, the UK’s attitude to pesticides may be somewhat less restrictive than across the Channel. British government scientists see little justification for the continued banning of neonicotinoids, for example, on the flimsy evidence of their impact on the mortality of bees. The question then is what knock-on effect this might have across the rest of the EU which, if 2017 continues as 2016 finishes, could see the bloc in a deep existential crisis as populism surges in the Netherlands, France and even Germany.

Leave a Comment December 22, 2016

Plant Health Aust videos give varroa mite warning

From: Stock & Land

BEE READY: Plant Health Australia’s Dr Jenny Shanks says farmers need to take the threat of the varroa destructor mite seriously and recognise it’s impacts on pollination. 

PLANT Health Australia (PHA) has issued a blunt warning about the impacts the bee colony pest, varroa destructor mite, would have if it became established in Australia.


The latest project is a series of videos available on YouTube and the BeeAware website, to explain the threat posed by Varroa destructor to Australian honey bees, how beekeepers can best protect their apiaries from pests, and the likely implications for plant producers.

Leave a Comment December 21, 2016

A Good Target For EPA Reform

From: Townhall

The European Union and Canada have provided object lessons in how not to regulate these chemicals. Scott Pruitt and his new team over at EPA will certainly want to avoid their malpractices.


That minimizes impacts on beneficial insects – like crop-pollinating bees. They are barely exposed and thus unlikely to be harmed when neonic seed or soil treatments are used, in contrast to what often happens when manmade or “organic” chemicals are sprayed on crops. But despite this minimal risk, anti-pesticide activists have tried for years to blame neonics for recent honeybee health problems.

Leave a Comment December 20, 2016

Lab in Louisiana studies problems in bee colonies

From: Banner-Tribune Daily Review

By GRETA JINES, Manship School News Service


In spite various reasons for their decline in numbers, says Robert Danka, research leader at the USDA Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory in Baton Rouge, one thing is certain: Whatever the cause or causes of short-term annual honey bee colony loss, there is a looming problem for beekeepers.


Danka said honey bees have faced a variety of pests throughout the years, but the Varroa mite, which is from the far east sectors of Asia, is the greatest threat to colonies of European honey bees, except in Australia.

Leave a Comment December 19, 2016

A Varroa Mite Nimbly Infests a Foraging Honey Bee on a Flower

Leave a Comment December 16, 2016

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