Archives – June, 2017

Pesticide regulation talks threaten UK food supply chain


Poor EU decision making about the future of crop protection products could jeopardise the UK’s supply of cost-effectively produced food and cost farmers more than £1bn, warned the National Farmers Union (NFU).

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Leave a Comment June 19, 2017

Why are half of NJ’s honeybees dying each year?


Frank Mortimer is a Bergen County beekeeper and President of the Northeast NJ Beekeepers Association. In this video, filmed at his Upper Saddle River beehives, he talks about his interest in bees and what the stinging insects do in their hives. Kevin R. Wexler/

Nearly half the honeybees in New Jersey die off each year, significantly outpacing the national average and perplexing scientists, who worry the losses could impact the state’s agricultural industry.


There could be many reasons for the deaths, but the consensus is that a parasite that is deadly to honeybees, the varroa destructor, has spread like wildfire throughout the state.

Leave a Comment June 16, 2017

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Biology Research Abuzz


Postdoctoral researchers Kaira Wagoner and Esmaeil Amiri insert new frames into an experimental hive at UNCG’s beeyard. 


UNCG Professor of Biology Olav Rueppell and his research team have just received a nearly $1 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate honey bees’ natural defenses against their main pest, the Varroa mite, and how to activate them.

Varroa mites are tiny, amber-colored circular creatures that live on the bodies of the honey bees. They feed on the bees’ blood and amplify a colony’s level of infection from illnesses such as Deformed Wing Virus or Israeli Acute Paralysis.

Leave a Comment June 15, 2017

Bear Creek Nature Center event pays tribute to pollinators

From: The Gazette

By: Rachel Riley


Scientists are still debating what exactly is causing bees to die off. Habitat destruction and pesticide use are two theories. Hench blames the varroa mite, a tiny parasite that latches onto bees and can transmit harmful diseases.

Joanne Scanlan emerged from Hench’s presentation excitedly reciting facts about the life cycle of bees and the destructive varroa mite.

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Leave a Comment June 14, 2017

CATCH THE BUZZ – Human activity is a key driver in the spread of pathogens afflicting the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) says OZ researcher.

From: Bee Culture

By Entomology Today

The Varroa destructor mite (shown above attached to bee) is a widespread parasite of European honey bees (Apis mellifera). Poor management practices have enabled the spread of V. destructor and other bee pathogens, an Australian bee researcher argues. (Photo credit: Stephen Ausmus, USDA Agricultural Research Service,


In a research essay published last week in the Journal of Economic Entomology, Robert Owen argues that human activity is a key driver in the spread of pathogens afflicting the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) and recommends a series of collective actions necessary to stem their spread. While some research seeks a “magic bullet” solution to honey bee maladies such as Colony Collapse Disorder, “many of the problems are caused by human action and can only be mitigated by changes in human behavior,” Owen says.

Leave a Comment June 13, 2017

Health Canada holds off on neonicotinoid ban

From: The Western Producer

Agency seeks more information before rendering a decision on imidacloprid use in Canada


A Health Canada spokesperson didn’t provide a date for the final decision. The public and agriculture industry representatives submitted comments about the PMRA proposal from late November until the last week of March. Health Canada experts continue to review that information.


Many grower associations told the PMRA, an agency operating under Health Canada, that nationwide phase-out of imidacloprid, over five years, was too severe and there wasn’t sufficient evidence to justify such a ban.

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Leave a Comment June 12, 2017

Toiling to save the bees


By Christie Citranglo


Parasites, in addition to habitat loss, are another danger to bees, specifically the varroa mites. After the mites found their way to the U.S. in the ’80s, Borst said, they’ve continued to evolve and develop a resistance to pesticides. Their breeding cycle is fast and scientists cannot keep up with their developments quickly enough to create a new solution — similar to bacteria in medicinal research.

“I’ve seen very diligent, professional beekeepers control the mites and still lost more bees than they’ve ever lost,” Borst said. “We have never really gotten a handle on how to control varroa mites.”

Leave a Comment June 8, 2017

Second Lady Karen Pence, Secretary Perdue Unveil Beehive at Vice President’s Residence, and Asks Public to Help Boost Pollinator Population

From: The White House | Office of Second Lady

WASHINGTON, DC – Second Lady Karen Pence and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today unveiled a newly-installed beehive on the grounds of the Vice President’s residence, drawing attention to the plight of pollinators whose numbers are in decline.  Together, the two urged Americans to do their own part to help reverse the population trend among the creatures, which are essential to producing much of the nation’s food.

Leave a Comment June 7, 2017

Can EPA ‘restore science and common sense’ to neonicotinoid insecticide regulations?

From: Genetic Literacy Project


Extensive studies have concluded that the actual cause of bee die-offs and “colony collapse disorders” has been a toxic mix of tiny pests (parasitic Varroa destructor mites, phorid flies, Nosema ceranae gut fungus, tobacco ringspot virus and deformed wing virus) – as well as chemicals used by beekeepers trying to control these beehive infestations.

Field studies involving crops where bees forage for pollen have consistently found no observable adverse effects on honeybees resulting from exposures to properly applied neonic seed coatings.

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Leave a Comment June 6, 2017

EPA Releases Ecological Risk Assessments for Neonicotinoids and Announces Next Steps in Registration Review

From: The National Law Review

Article By Lisa M. Campbell Jason E. Johnston, M.S. James V. Aidala | Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

On May 25, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of ecological risk assessments for four neonicotinoid active ingredients for public comment as well as the Registration Review Update for Four Neonicotinoid Insecticides (Update).  82 Fed. Reg. 24113.  The ecological risk assessments are:

Leave a Comment June 5, 2017

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