Archives – June, 2017

Varroa: A Threat to Native and Managed Bees

From: Vermont Public Radio


Then, there’s the varroa mite. Creighton said this parasite is the number one killer of bees in Connecticut. It feeds on bees, can cripple their newborns, and spreads disease, which honey bees can pass on to other pollinators at shared flowers.

“They impact our native bees,” Creighton said. “And we want to keep all our bees healthy — not just our Apis mellifera.”
Varroa mites on pupae.
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Leave a Comment June 30, 2017

Research: N.Y. Honeybees Stung Hard by Varroa Mite

From: New York Ag Connection

A small mite is causing big trouble for New York’s honeybee population and putting in peril the fruit and vegetable crops that depend on these pollinators.


Even more alarming, according to Mullen, is that 78 percent of operations had varroa mite levels that exceeded the economic threshold of 3 mites per 100 bees, an important predicator that the colony will die within one to two years or experience reduced honey production. Surpassing that threshold demonstrates that the mites are not being managed effectively and are posing a critical risk to colony health, Mullen said.

Leave a Comment June 29, 2017

Robustness, Transparency and Fiscal Soundness: Three Requirements for USDA/NIFA’s National Monitoring Plan for Native Bees

The following is CRE’s presentation to USDA/NIFA’s Listening Session on its National Monitoring Plan for Native Bees. A pdf of CRE’s presentation is available here.

I. Core Issue: All models and datasets used to estimate native bee populations must comply with the Data Quality Act

II. Data Collection and Modeling is the Basis for Understanding Native Bee Populations

A. Data Collection

i.  Robustness. The collected data needs to be robust.

ii. Inferences. The sample size needs to be large enough to permit knowledgeable inferences.

B. Models

i.  DQA Requirements. The models need to comply with the transparency, reproducibility and other requirements of the Data Quality Act.

Leave a Comment June 28, 2017

National Monitoring Plan for Native Bees: Stakeholder and Public Listening Session Webinar

From: United States Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture

“The National Monitoring Plan for Native Bees: Stakeholder and Public Listening Session Webinar” is the first step towards developing a national monitoring plan. The listening session will be held on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will gather input from a diverse range of people who are interested in native bee diversity, abundance, and large scale national monitoring strategies. Everyone is welcome to participate in the listening session by webinar. A few days before the event, NIFA’s Web site will include details about the webinar.

Leave a Comment June 27, 2017

LSU researchers get nearly $1 million to study honeybees

From: AP via Times-Picayune

BATON ROUGE — Two Louisiana State University researchers are getting nearly $1 million for a two-year study of how mite treatment and stress affect honeybee health.

Kristen Healy and Daniel Swale are working with U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers in Baton Rouge and the nation’s largest beekeeper, the LSU AgCenter said in a news release Thursday.

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Leave a Comment June 26, 2017

If you really want to save the bees, here is what to do

From: Yakima Herald

By Eric Olson


Here in Washington state, we’ve been making a major contribution to healthier bees since I helped kick-start Washington State University’s research program. Now WSU has a diagnostic lab to which beekeepers can send bee samples to be analyzed for disease and parasites. And recently, using our state’s abundant controlled atmosphere storage facilities, we’ve begun controlling varroa without chemicals, ‘suffocating’ them with carbon dioxide in these facilities while sheltering our bees from damaging winter weather. Varroa mites can’t develop resistance to not breathing!

Leave a Comment June 26, 2017

USDA Invests $6.8 Million for Research and Extension Grants on Pollinator Health

From: United States Department of Agriculture | National Institute of Food and Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C. June 20, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced seven grants totaling $6.8 million for research and extension projects to sustain healthy populations of pollinators, which are crucial to the nation’s food security and environmental health. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Leave a Comment June 23, 2017

Study Suggests Modern Beekeeping Gives Varroa Mites Ideal Conditions to Spread

From: Growing Produce

Posted By:

As the managed honey bee industry continues to grapple with significant annual colony losses, the Varroa destructor mite is emerging as the leading culprit. And, it turns out, the very nature of modern beekeeping may be giving the parasite the exact conditions it needs to spread nearly beyond control.

In an article recently published in the Entomological Society of America’s Environmental Entomology, researchers argue that the Varroa mite has “co-opted” several honeybee behaviors to its own benefit, allowing it to disperse widely even though the mite itself is not a highly mobile insect. The mite’s ability to hitchhike on wandering bees, the infections it transmits to bees, and the density of colonies in managed beekeeping settings, make for a deadly combination.

Leave a Comment June 22, 2017

Regulatory process of insecticides: let’s apply some logic and social science

From: Bio Based Press | Towards green growth through sustainability and innovation


Leave a Comment June 21, 2017

“Our findings. . .serve as a caution against evaluating the toxicity of a particular pesticide based on the findings from a single ‘model’ species such as honeybees or bumblebees.”

From: PeerJ | The award-winning biological and medical sciences journal

Larval exposure to field-realistic concentrations of clothianidin has no effect on development rate, over-winter survival or adult metabolic rate in a solitary bee, Osmia bicornis

Elizabeth Nicholls1, Robert Fowler1, Jeremy E. Niven1, James D. Gilbert1,2 and Dave Goulson1

Leave a Comment June 20, 2017

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