Archives – December, 2016

Devastating mites jump nimbly from flowers to honeybees

Editor’s Note: The PLOS One study is available here and a video of a varroa destructor mite jumping from a flower to a bee is available here.

From: Cornell Chronicle

By Krishna Ramanujan


A study, published Dec. 12 in PLOS One, describes for the first time – and documents with video footage – how Varroa mites can nimbly jump from flowers onto bees.

The finding is important because Varroa mites are linked with massive honeybee colony deaths, as they infest nursery cells in honeybee nests and feed on developing bees while also transferring deadly viruses.

Leave a Comment December 16, 2016

Review of field and monitoring studies investigating the role of nitro-substituted neonicotinoid insecticides in the reported losses of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera)

From: Ecotoxicology

, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 1617–1629

Richard Schmuck, Gavin Lewis


Overall, it can be concluded that based on the results of this large-scale monitoring study, clothianidin-dressed oilseed rape did not cause any detrimental effects on the three representative bee species.

Leave a Comment December 15, 2016

Varroa destructor Mites Can Nimbly Climb from Flowers onto Foraging Honey Bees

From: PLOS One

David T. Peck, Michael L. Smith, Thomas D. Seeley


Varroa destructor, the introduced parasite of European honey bees associated with massive colony deaths, spreads readily through populations of honey bee colonies, both managed colonies living crowded together in apiaries and wild colonies living widely dispersed in natural settings. Mites are hypothesized to spread between most managed colonies via phoretically riding forager bees when they engage in robbing colonies or they drift between hives. However, widely spaced wild colonies show Varroa infestation despite limited opportunities for robbing and little or no drifting of bees between colonies. Both wild and managed colonies may also exchange mites via another mechanism that has received remarkably little attention or study: floral transmission. The present study tested the ability of mites to infest foragers at feeders or flowers. We show that Varroa destructor mites are highly capable of phoretically infesting foraging honey bees, detail the mechanisms and maneuvers by which they do so, and describe mite behaviors post-infestation.

Leave a Comment December 14, 2016

Today: Join GLP’s Jon Entine for a Reddit Science AMA on bee health and pesticides

From: Genetic Literacy Project

Jon Entine, GLP director, will be holding a Science “Ask Me Anything” entitled Pesticides, Bees and Pollinator Health on Tuesday, December 13, 2016, between 2 pm and 4 pm ET. Questions can be submitted by visiting the AMA at the Reddit Science page at:

Hi Reddit! I’m Jon Entine, a science journalist and founder of the Genetic Literacy Project and Epigenetics Literacy Project (501c3 as the Science Literacy Project), which cover the intersection of human genetics and agricultural sciences with public policy.

Leave a Comment December 13, 2016

New threat to honeybees arises

From: AgriNews

Mite threatens European species

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A sister species of the Varroa destructor mite is developing the ability to parasitize European honeybees, threatening pollinators already hard pressed by pesticides, nutritional deficiencies and disease, a Purdue University study said.


To bee researchers, it’s a grimly familiar story: V. destructor made the same host leap at least 60 years ago, spreading rapidly to become the most important global health threat to European honeybees.


Read Complete Article

Leave a Comment December 12, 2016

Preserving Honey Bees Means Protecting Our Food Supply

From: Forbes

Nancy Kavazanjian and Jay Hill | Nancy, with Hammer and Kavazanjian Farms, is a corn, soybean and wheat farmer. Jay, with Hill Farms, is a vegetable, nut and beef farmer.

This year, we established 16 acres of pollinator habitat on our Wisconsin corn, soybean and wheat farm. With honey bees dying at higher rates, agriculture is part of the solution in preserving this important species. We’ve made this part of our Conservation Stewardship Program, and my husband and I are pretty proud of this.


Leave a Comment December 9, 2016

Contre le déclin des abeilles en France, les chercheurs ont peut-être trouvé une issue

Editor’s Note: Translation from the French original via Google Translate.

From: Le Huffington Post 

Against the decline of bees in France, the researchers may have found a way out

Annabel Benhaiem, Journaliste, Le Huffington Post

Parmi les causes du déclin des abeilles noires en Europe, on trouve le parasite Varroa, qui ressemble à un petit pou rond. [Blaine Franger]

ENVIRONMENT – Will bees win against mites? This long-term battle is on the way to finding a way out, revealed Thursday December 8 at the Anses International Scientific Meeting on Bee Health.

Leave a Comment December 8, 2016

Honeybees are not in crisis, but what about beekeepers?

From: Genetic Literacy Project

Scientists are now in agreement that we are not facing a beepocalypse as many in the media have been maintaining. Bee populations aren’t declining; they’re rising. According to statistics kept by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, honeybee populations in the United States, Canada and Europe have been stable or growing for the two decades

Leave a Comment December 7, 2016

Changes in the Bacteriome of Honey Bees Associated with the Parasite Varroa destructor, and Pathogens Nosema and Lotmaria passim

From: Microbial Ecology via

Microbial Ecology · October 2016

, Ondrej Ledvinka, Tomas Erban, Phil J. Lester

Leave a Comment December 6, 2016

Migratory Mites Threaten Bee Hives

From: USDA Ag Research Magazine


The Varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is considered public enemy number one to honey bees nationwide. The parasite feeds on the blood of adult bees and their brood, weakening them and endangering the entire hive when infestations become severe. But the mite also poses an indirect threat to more than 90 flowering crops that depend on bee pollination, including almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries, and cantaloupes.


The researchers’ investigations in North Dakota this summer will follow up on their leading theory to explain this phenomenon, dubbed “mite migration.” It holds that Varroa mites move among colonies by attaching to forager bees.

Leave a Comment December 5, 2016

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