Archives – March, 2017

A pan-European epidemiological study reveals honey bee colony survival depends on beekeeper education and disease control

From: PLOS One

Antoine Jacques, Marion Laurent, EPILOBEE Consortium, Magali Ribière-Chabert, Mathilde Saussac, Stéphanie Bougeard, Giles E. Budge, Pascal Hendrikx, Marie-Pierre Chauzat

Leave a Comment March 17, 2017

Federal Scientists: Essential to Agriculture

Science Detectives Investigate a ‘Mitey’ Big Problem

By Jan Suszkiw

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are hot on the trail of a honey bee killer, and their detective work has taken them from hives in Tucson, Arizona, to those in Bismarck, North Dakota.


The Varroa mite is public enemy number one to not only honey bees nationwide, but also the 90-plus flowering crops that depend on the insects to pollinate them, including apples, almonds, blueberries and cantaloupe.

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Leave a Comment March 16, 2017

Neonic Bans Do NOT Protect Bees: Bee numbers in Austria to see enormous losses

From: Xinhua 

VIENNA, March 14 (Xinhua) — Austria is to see enormous losses to its bee population this year, with experts anticipating a high death rate, the Krone newspaper reported on Tuesday.


In addition, he said the phenomenon will be seen across the entire European Union.


Boigenzahn said the notably cold 2016/2017 winter would not have had much effect, with bees able to withstand significant cold particularly with stable temperatures. Instead, mites are mostly responsible, particularly the varroa destructor variety.

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Leave a Comment March 15, 2017

Australian researcher working to immunise honey bees, protect them from varroa mite

From: ABC News | Rural

By Anna Vidot

The race is on to prepare Australian bees to survive any future incursion of varroa mite.

A young scientist is working to immunise Australian honeybees against killer viruses, to prepare them for any future incursion of the deadly varroa mite.

The parasite has spread around the world, causing colony collapse and threatening agricultural industries that rely on bees for pollination.

Dr Emily Remnant, a research scientist based at the University of Sydney, has received the Agriculture Minister’s science and innovation award in recognition of her work.

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Leave a Comment March 14, 2017

Talking Biotech: Habitat loss, parasitic mites — not GMOs, pesticides — prime culprits in butterfly, bee losses

From: Genetic Literacy Project

Monarch butterfly numbers in North America have decreased and the rate of over-winter honey bee colony loss has doubled in recent years. GMO crops and pesticides such as neonicotinoids have been blamed, but what does the most up-to-date science have to stay about their relationships with these important pollinators? It’s complicated, says Dr. Ric Bessin, an entomology professor at the University of Kentucky, but a host of other factors, from monarch habitat loss in Mexico to parasitic mites in bees, are likely more important.

Hosted by Dr. Paul Vincelli.

Listen to #Podcast

Leave a Comment March 13, 2017

Bee populations thrive

From: The Mountain Mail

by Cassie Baldauf Special to The Mail


“When a beekeeper loses hives, it’s most likely due to poor management, not pesticides,” Johnston said. “Often beginning beekeepers don’t understand how to control pests.”

Mites pose biggest threat

The largest threat to the bee industry is not pesticides, but the varroa mite, he clarified. The small mites are similar to a tiny tick and can destroy a hive within three months.

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Leave a Comment March 10, 2017


Dr. Jack Rath of Betterbee gives a detailed explanation of the the origin, biology, and treatment for Varroa destructor in Apis mellifera hives.

Leave a Comment March 9, 2017

Scientists reveal core genes involved in immunity of honey bees

From: Science Daily

Source: Penn State

Summary: A core set of genes involved in the responses of honey bees to multiple diseases caused by viruses and parasites has been identified by an international team of researchers. The findings provide a better-defined starting point for future studies of honey-bee health, and may help scientists and beekeepers breed honey bees that are more resilient to stress.

“In the past decade, honey-bee populations have experienced severe and persistent losses across the Northern Hemisphere, mainly due to the effects of pathogens, such as fungi and viruses,” said Vincent Doublet, postdoctoral research fellow, University of Exeter. “The genes that we identified offer new possibilities for the generation of honey-bee stocks that are resistant to these pathogens.”

Leave a Comment March 8, 2017

Asia’s Bee Mites Alarmingly Resistant

From: Asian Scientist

A study of the Tropilaelaps mercedesae genome has revealed that conventional mite control strategies might not work.

AsianScientist (Mar. 7, 2017) – The genome of the parasitic bee mite Tropilaelaps mercedesae suggests that existing methods to prevent bee colony collapse might be ineffective. These findings have been published in GigaScience.

Although there are many potential causes for the decline in honey bee colonies, pathogens and parasites of the honey bee, particularly mites, are considered major threats to honey bee health and honey bee colonies. The bee mite T. mercedesae is honey bee parasite prevalent in most Asian countries, and has a similar impact on bee colonies that the globally present bee mite Varroa destructor has. With the global trade of honey bees, T. mercedesae is likely become established world-wide.

Leave a Comment March 7, 2017

Australia’s bee industry calls for biosecurity risk status of large scarab beetle from Africa to be upgraded to ‘high’

From: ABC News

By Marty McCarthy

Australia should step up its biosecurity to protect local beehives from a scarab beetle native to Africa, that could threaten Australia’s honey production and agriculture industries.

The research, led by Professor Ben Oldroyd from the University of Sydney, found the risk status of the beetle should be upgraded from ‘low’ to ‘ high’ to stop it from become invasive.


Mr Hortnizky said the beetle posed a significant threat to hive health, as it fed on infant bees.

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Leave a Comment March 6, 2017

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